Rockies want to spark offense against Twins

The talented 25-year-old Minnesota Twins homered in his return to the lineup last week after missing more than two months due to a strained quadriceps. He continued his strong performance when the team returned home on Monday and homered again.

On Tuesday night, Lewis looks to continue his strong streak as Minnesota looks for back-to-back wins over the Colorado Rockies to start their three-game series.

Lewis Powers Twins to victory

The Twins secured the series opener 5-0, thanks to three runs in the eighth inning. Lewis contributed significantly with a two-run, 450-foot shot to left center field, marking his fourth home run in just seven games this season.

Twins manager Rocco Baldelli praised Lewis for his impressive return.

“It’s impressive,” Baldelli said. “But (it’s) nothing that would shock you right now. He is a very dangerous hitter. He makes a lot of swings, they are on a very good plane and the bat moves very quickly. His hands move quickly. You feel like with every swing something good can happen for your team.”

The Rockies’ Offensive Struggle

The Rockies, on the other hand, are desperate for a spark in their lineup. They managed just six hits in the series opener and were eliminated for the eighth time this season. The team has lost two straight games and eight of the last ten.

Rockies manager Bud Black offered a clear explanation for his hitters’ struggles against Twins right-hander Chris Paddack.

“We couldn’t get to the high fastball, and we couldn’t get to the low secondary pitches,” Black said.

Upcoming pitching match

The Twins plan to call up right-hander Louie Varland (0-4, 9.18 ERA) to start the second game of the series. Varland struggled in his first four starts before being demoted to Triple-A St. Paul. He will make the short trip back to the majors hoping for a stronger performance.

The 26-year-old Varland has never played against the Rockies, but has a 1-2 record with a 6.04 ERA in five games (four starts) against interleague opponents.

The Rockies will counter with right-hander Cal Quantrill (5-4, 3.58), who will make his 14th start of the season. Quantrill leads the team in wins and innings pitched (73) and ranks second with 51 strikeouts.

Quantrill is coming off a solid performance against the St. Louis Cardinals, pitching five scoreless innings. In his career, Quantrill owns a 5-0 record with a 3.23 ERA in 11 games (eight starts) against Minnesota. He has walked 13 and struck out 38 in 53 innings.

Injury problems for Rockies

The Rockies could be without catcher Elias Diaz, who left Monday’s game with a calf injury. Black described Diaz’s status as an everyday issue and indicated it was not a new problem.

“(Diaz) has been feeling it for a few weeks and he’s been making it happen, but today he got that particular ground ball out of the box,” Black said. ‘We’ll see in a few days. (Head coach) Keith (Dugger) wants to deal with it for a day or two and see where we are. It’s a blow.”