(Photo credit: Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports)
Following a surprise sojourn to Triple-A for the past two weeks, Minnesota Twins right-hander Bailey Ober will return to the rotation Friday against the host Chicago White Sox.
That's been a customary spot for Ober, who has made 22 starts for the Twins in 2023. His demotion was related to the organization managing his workload. Ober (6-6, 3.67 ERA) enters the weekend with 122 2/3 innings, more than 30 above his previous high.
"I can see their perspective on things. and hopefully it works out for both of us in the long run and (these) upcoming weeks, next month or so," he said. "I'm feeling great, and I'm ready to go out there and throw."
It's a good match because Minnesota (77-70) is channeling good vibes, too. A late surge Thursday boosted the Twins to a 10-2 rout of the White Sox in the opener of a four-game series.
Edouard Julien, Royce Lewis and Kyle Farmer homered to help the Twins lower to eight their magic number to clinch the American League Central.
Minnesota led just 2-0 before erupting for four runs each in the seventh and ninth innings.
"It's fun to be in this lineup and keep it going," said Matt Wallner, who joined Alex Kirilloff with two hits and two RBIs.
Chicago (56-91) was unable to recover en route to its 10th loss in 13 games. The White Sox were limited to six hits, with just two going for extra bases -- Andrew Vaughn's two-run homer in the seventh and an Eloy Jimenez double in the ninth.
Minnesota clinched the season series with Chicago, earning its seventh win in 10 games.
Rookie right-hander Jesse Scholtens (1-8, 4.44) will aim to get the White Sox back on track.
Scholtens has lost five straight decisions since joining the rotation full-time in August and seeks his first victory as a starter. His lone win this season, on June 25, came in relief.
All the damage against Scholtens during Sunday's start in Detroit came in the third inning. He allowed four singles -- one on the infield -- around a two-run double. Scholtens escaped further damage by snaring a line drive and doubling off a runner at third base. He struck out four and walked two in five innings.
"Every pitcher out here would love to stack up zero after zero. But you know, that's baseball," Scholtens said. "Sometimes it happens that way, and you've just got to look at the big picture and say, 'Did you execute pitches the way you wanted to?' And if at the end of the day, you did, then make progress going forward."
Scholtens is 0-2 with a 0.00 ERA in two extra-inning relief appearances against the Twins, allowing two unearned runs and three hits over two-thirds of an inning. He last faced Minnesota on July 23.
Ober started that game, taking a no-decision after scattering three runs (two earned) and five hits in six innings. In nine career starts against the White Sox, he is 2-1 with a 3.33 ERA.
--Field Level Media