Bartolo Colon goes for a spot in the history books Sunday afternoon when he takes the mound at Target Field where the Texas Rangers will face the Minnesota Twins.
Colon (4-4 George Kittle Jersey , 4.91) snapped a tie with Hall of Famer Juan Marichal and became the winningest pitcher from the Dominican Republic earlier this week and should he earn a win Sunday, he would tie Nicaragua native Dennis Martinez for the most by a pitcher from any Latin American country.
“Now that I’ve won the 244, I see that it’s close to Dennis Martinez, but with health and enough time, I’m ready to be able to pass him and be the first Latin with more wins,” Colon said through a translator after snapping out of a five-game funk against the Kansas Royals on Monday “I feel happy, of course, to pass a Hall of Famer, the first Dominican in the Hall of Fame.”
Colon is 11-8 with a 3.78 ERA in 25 games (24 starts) against the Twins. Last season he was 5-6 with a 5.18 ERA in 15 starts for the Twins.
Colon is pitching in Minnesota as a visitor for the first time since July 16, 2005 at the Metrodome when he pitched the Los Angeles Angels.
The Latin American record is a big deal for not just the 45-year-old Colon but also for his teammates.
“They’ve wanted to get this win for him for some time now,” Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. “It’s just incredible to watch. He’s such a humble guy. No real fanfare whatsoever. Kind of just a great humility.”
The Rangers have been one of baseball’s hottest teams of late.
They stretched their season-best winning streak to seven games Saturday as Adrian Beltre and Robinson Chirinos homered in 9-6 victory. With a win Sunday, the Rangers would clinch their second consecutive series sweep — and their second of the season, overall.
They may need to do it without first baseman Joey Gallo, who left the game in the third inning after stretching a double. Banister said Gallo had been “battling some soreness” the last few days.
“We played him at first base to try to alleviate some of that today, but it seemed to come back and get him a little bit,” Bannister said. “We’ll reassess him and see where he is tomorrow.”
The Twins have dropped three straight games after Eddie Rosario homered and drove in four runs Saturday.
Right-hander Jose Berrios (7-5, 3.38) will try to keep Texas’ brooms at bay.
Berrios earned a no-decision but was magnificent in his last outing Matt Breida Jersey , holding the Red Sox to a run on five hits while striking out six over 6 1/3 innings Tuesday.
He’s only allowed one run in each of his last two outings and gave up two in the start before that. Over his last seven outings, Berrios is 4-1 with a 2.34 ERA.
Berrios won his only start against Texas, allowing five runs and five innings in a 6-5 victory Aug. 6. He also is 0-3 with a 6.23 ERA in four starts against teams from the AL West.
Should Berrios struggle Sunday, the Twins will have a fresh arm in the bullpen. Minnesota’s bullpen covered 7 1/3 innings Saturday after Jake Odorizzi recorded just five outs.
The team plans to summon right-hander Alan Busenitz from Triple-A Rochester, where he has a 1.27 ERA in 17 outings this season.
To make room for Busenitz on the roster, Minnesota optioned 23-year-old starter Fernando Romero to Triple-A. The right-hander is 3-3 with a 4.38 ERA and has a 7.54 ERA over his last five starts.
“His starts, while they haven’t been horrific or horrendous or any of those type of things, it just looks like it’s been a little more laborious for him,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said. “Some of the things that a young pitcher goes through, I think it’s time to reset him. There’s obviously some things maybe that I don’t want to be too transparent about that I think he needs to work on. I’m sure he’ll get back to work.”
The way Odubel Herrera is going, he might have to make an extra trip to Washington next month.
Herrera homered for the fifth straight game and finished with four hits, helping the Philadelphia Phillies rout the Nationals 12-2 on Friday night.
Herrera hit a tiebreaking two-run shot in the third for his 13th homer, matching the club record for consecutive games with a long ball. He has connected in six of his last seven overall.
The All-Star Game is at Nationals Park on July 17, and Herrera is putting together a solid case for a spot on the NL squad.
”I’m playing hard, giving my best, so if it happens it’ll be great,” he said via an interpreter. ”That’s what you work for.”
Herrera is hitting .472 (17 for 36) with six homers Jerick McKinnon Jersey , 11 runs and 10 RBIs in his last eight games. His season batting average is up to .308.
”I don’t think there’s any words for it. I mean it’s simply incredible what he can do,” Phillies pitcher Zach Eflin said.
”The thing with Odubel is that he can shake off anything at any given time. … It can look like he’s struggling and then next pitch he hits it 440 feet.”
Carlos Santana homered and drove in four runs for Philadelphia. Andrew Knapp also connected and Nick Williams drove in three runs.
The Phillies had 15 hits in their fifth win in six games. They also moved ahead of Washington for second place in the NL East behind Atlanta.
”To me, today was the first game where we really got blown out. That was a blowout right there,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. ”We’ve just got to keep our heads up, guys go home and rest, come back tomorrow and do it again.”
Eflin (5-2) allowed baserunners in every inning except the first but limited the damage to two runs over five innings in his fourth straight win.
Washington’s Tanner Roark (3-8) gave up six runs in 4 1/3 innings, and the Nationals needed four relievers to finish the game.
”The last two starts I’ve left the bullpen out to dry,” Roark said, ”and I’m just not happy about it.”
The Nationals have dropped eight of 11, including the completion of a suspended game. They are in third place this late in the season for the first time since 2013.
Michael A. Taylor extended his hitting streak to 13 games and drove in Washington’s first run when he capped an 11-pitch at-bat with a double in the second.
HARPER DERBY BOUND
On Friday afternoon the Nationals tweeted: ”tfw Bryce announces he’ll do the (at)MLB HR Derby if he makes the NL All-Star team…” accompanied by a GIF of Harper celebrating in the dugout.
Chase Utley (twice in 2008), Bobby Abreu (2005), Mike Schmidt (1979) and Dick Allen (1969) also homered in five straight games for the Phillies. Ken Griffey, Jr. (1993), Don Mattingly (1987) and Dale Long (1956) share the major league record with homers in eight consecutive games.
Phillies: RHP Jerad Eickhoff (right lat strain) threw his curveball off flat ground and will throw the pitch again during a bullpen session on Saturday. . RHP Pat Neshek (right shoulder strain) will begin a rehab assignment at Class A Clearwater on Saturday. … RHP Luis Garcia (right wrist strain) played catch on flat ground Friday.
Nationals: RHP Stephen Strasburg (right shoulder inflammation) played catch on flat ground for the second time this week Friday. … RHP Jeremy Hellickson (right hamstring strain) will make a rehab start for Class A Potomac on Sunday.
Philadelphia RHP Aaron Nola (8-2, 2.55 ERA) opposes RHP Erick Fedde (0-2, 5.63 ERA). Nola (seventh overall) and Fedde (18th overall) were both selected in the first round of the 2014 draft.
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