MINNEAPOLIS -- Since June 18, the Twins have played four extra-inning games, including games of 18, 17 and 12 innings. So don’t expect manager Rocco Baldelli to name a starter for Sunday’s matinee against the Texas Rangers at Target Field, which will take Minnesota into the four-day all-star break.
Before Friday’s 7:10 first-pitch against the Rangers, the Twins recalled right-hander Kohl Stewart, and he would seem a likely candidate to take the place of Jake Ordorizzi, who is on the injured list because of a blister, in the rotation on Sunday. The Twins’ first-round pick in the 2013 amateur draft, Stewart has made 12 starts in 13 appearances at Triple-A Rochester and gone 5-4 with a 5.64 earned-run average.
That will depend on how the first two games of the weekend series go.
“The last time we played a 17-inning game, we thought we certainly would not be playing another 17-inning game, and obviously that didn’t hold true for very long,” Baldelli said. “We’re ready for anything.”
The Twins beat Boston in 17 innings on June 18 and lost to Tampa Bay in 18 innings on June 27. On Wednesday, they beat the A’s in Oakland in 12 innings.
Stewart was recalled to take the roster spot of reliever Blake Parker, placed on the paternity list Friday. If Stewart is used at length in the bullpen, the Twins could use left-hander Adalberto Mejia on Sunday or make another move.
“Kohl is here to help stabilize everything going on,” Baldelli said. “He could help fill a few different roles. We don’t know how he’s going to be used yet to this point, but he’s done a nice job for us with basically everything we’ve asked him to do.”
In two starts for the Twins this season, Stewart is 1-1 with a 6.00 earned-run average. In his last appearance, he pitched four scoreless innings — two hits, one strikeout — in relief of Odorizzi in a 4-1 loss at Kansas City on June. 20.
Out since June 27 with a sprained left ankle, left fielder Eddie Rosario did some work in the outfield Friday, playing catch and running before rain started to fall in the early evening. Although eligible to come off the injured list for Sunday’s series finale, it’s likely the team’s RBI leader (60) will return after the break.
The Twins start a three-game series against the Indians in Cleveland next Friday.
“I would say it’s unlikely that we are going to activate him before the break,” Baldelli said, “but once the break ends, we’re hopeful that he’s going to be ready soon.”
The Twins are 2-5 since Rosario was placed on the 10-day IL. He’s one of six key contributors placed on the IL since June 18, and one of three still inactive with Odorizzi and catcher Willians Astudillo. Out since June 28 with an oblique injury, Astudillo appears to be furthest from returning.
“He’s not going to be taking part in baseball activity for probably a little while,” Baldelli said. “There’s not a lot that he can do in the early parts of his rehab; an oblique-related injury is not something that just heals up and all of a sudden you start taking swings and throwing. It’s a fairly significant oblique injury, and so we are going to have to let him heal before we can do anything.”
Do-everything utility man Marwin Gonzalez was back in the lineup Friday after missing two games with a bruised toe. He was injured when he fouled a pitch off his right foot at Oakland on Tuesday.