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News » Blue Jays-Twins Preview 2009-04-15

Blue Jays-Twins Preview 2009-04-15

Blue Jays-Twins Preview 2009-04-15
Scott Baker wasn't happy he didn't get his first chance to pitch on opening day. Since the Minnesota Twins have gotten only two wins from starters this year, they're probably just happy he will finally get to pitch.

Baker will make his season debut Wednesday night for the Twins when they continue a four-game series against the Toronto Blue Jays.

The Twins (4-5) named Baker as their opening day starter, but he developed some soreness in his shoulder on April 1. Minnesota opted to place him on the 15-day disabled list, and activated him Tuesday.

"The decision technically wasn't up to me. I could definitely have pitched," said Baker, who signed a $15.25 million, four-year contract last month. "I'm an investment. They want to protect their investment."

Minnesota is expecting big things from the 27-year-old right-hander, who had his best season in 2008. He went 11-4 with a 3.45 ERA in a career-high 28 starts, including 4-0 with a 2.37 ERA in his last six.

Baker was also 5-1 with a 2.78 ERA in 12 home starts last season.

"He's one of our veteran guys," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "It's nice to get him back out there. He feels great and that's the important thing."

Baker did not face the Blue Jays (6-3) last season. He went 0-1 with a 3.72 ERA against them in three outings in 2007.

The Twins snapped their three-game losing streak with a 3-2 win in 11 innings on Tuesday. Joe Crede doubled in Justin Morneau with the winning run as Minnesota also ended a 10-game skid to Toronto.

"That was big for Joe to come through," Morneau said. "Hopefully, that will take some pressure off him and he'll settle in and play how he can play."

Toronto's red-hot offense was cooled down for one night. The Blue Jays, who lead the majors with 56 runs, had just seven hits and saw Aaron Hill go 0-for-5 as his eight-game hitting streak to start the year ended.

"You never like to lose a game when you go that long and pitch that well," Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston said.

Morneau went 3-for-5 for his third straight multihit effort, going 7-for-14 in that span. He has bounced back from an 0-for-8 start to his season to go 12-for-29 (.414) with eight RBIs in his last seven games.

The Blue Jays will give Scott Richmond (0-0, 6.75) his seventh career start and second of 2009. Richmond gave up three runs over four innings in his season debut, a 13-7 win over Cleveland on Friday.

The right-hander is an Oklahoma State product like Baker and actually studied video of the Twins pitcher this offseason to help develop his four-pitch repertoire. Richmond, the first Canadian-born starter in the Blue Jays rotation since Paul Quantrill in 1996, has never pitched against Minnesota.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: April 15, 2009

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