What we're watching: Pedro's Philly debut

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– Hopefully, Tuesday’s incident took care of the bad blood between the Tigers and Red Sox, but with noted hothead Josh Beckett on the mound tonight, another flareup is a possibility. Kevin Youkilis, who charged the mound after being hit in a second straight game last night, chose not to appeal his five-game suspension, so he’ll sit tonight. It’s unclear whether the Tigers will regain the services of Miguel Cabrera, who left last night’s game after being hit in the hand by a pitch. Detroit has scratched Armando Galarraga from his scheduled start, so Zach Miner, who pitched in relief Monday, will get the nod.
– While Glen Perkins’ injury helped him out, Francisco Liriano could use a strong outing tonight if he’s going to stay in the Minnesota rotation. The Twins have lost each of his last four starts, during which he’s given up 19 runs — 15 earned — in 21 2/3 innings. He’s faced a difficult schedule over the span (NYY, TEX, LAA and CLE), but he’ll have no such excuse tonight against the Royals.
Game of the Night
Philadelphia vs. Chicago Cubs – Replacing Jamie Moyer in the rotation, Pedro Martinez will make his much-anticipated Phillies debut after striking out 11 and allowed three earned runs in six innings in his final minor league start. That’d be enough for Game of the Night honors on its own, but it will also be interesting to see Jeff Samardzija make his first major league start for the Cubs. He’s struggled as a major league reliever this year, posting a 6.29 ERA and a 13/12 K/BB ratio in 24 1/3 innings. He was 5-3 with a 3.43 ERA in 12 starts for Triple-A Iowa.

Twins reach historic home run total during 11-4 rout of White Sox

Max Kepler
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The Twins trampled the White Sox on Friday night, cruising to a cool 11-4 lead over their division rivals and collecting their sixth double-digit win of 2019. Even more impressive, they picked up their 99th, 100th, and 101st home runs, a feat that’s rarely been matched in a team’s first 50 games of any given season.

The first homer of the night was delivered by Eddie Rosario in the third inning. Working against a single-run deficit, Rosario lifted an 0-1 fastball from the White Sox’ Reynaldo López, planting it firmly in the left field stands and evening the score, 4-4. Two batters later, Rosario’s solo home run got a sequel: a 398-footer from Miguel Sanó, this one postmarked for the upper deck in left.

In the fourth, now leading 5-4, the Twins saw a third and final homer from the bat of Max Kepler, whose center-field blast traveled a projected 397 feet to give the club a two-run advantage. Per MLB Stats, the Twins’ record — 101 homers in 50 games — stands second only to that of the 1999 Mariners, who managed to club 102 home runs before their 51st game of the season.

While the record has undoubtedly been a team effort, Rosario leads the pack with a team-best 15 homers so far this year, closely followed by C.J. Cron (13), Max Kepler (11), and Jonathan Schoop (10). Sanó, whose solo shot marked the team’s 100th home run of 2019, has just five, though there’s little doubt he’ll reach double digits before the end of the season.

According to MLB.com’s Do-Hyoung Park, the Twins also made it to an even 300 runs scored in 2019, for a satisfying average of six runs per game and a new franchise record (previous high mark: 273 runs scored in 1992). With the win, they improved to 34-16 on the year and continue to hold a comfortable eight-game lead in the AL Central.