Jose Urena’s win-loss record belies just how effective he has been for the Detroit Tigers this season.
Urena (1-4, 3.53 ERA) has lost four of five decisions despite producing four consecutive quality starts. The free agent acquisition has gone seven innings and limited the opponent to two runs in each of those outings, but is only 1-2 with a no-decision in that stretch.
He’ll make his seventh start this season in the second game of a three-game home series against Minnesota on Saturday afternoon.
In his last start on Sunday, he held the powerful New York Yankees to three hits and struck out seven.
Urena retired the last 17 batters he faced on Sunday, combining a power sinker with a slider.
“Jose was incredible,” manager AJ Hinch said. “He was as locked in at the end as he was at the beginning.”
Urena, who spent his first six seasons in the National League with Miami, has faced Minnesota only once in his career and took the loss.
He’ll be opposed by Twins ace Jose Berrios (3-2, 3.58 ERA). He earned a win against Kansas City on Sunday, allowing four runs while striking out nine in six innings.
He’s 4-2 in nine career outings — eight starts — against the Tigers despite a 6.53 ERA.
Minnesota will be without center fielder Byron Buxton for at least a couple of weeks due to a Grade 2 right hip strain. Buxton, who is hitting .370 with nine homers, was injured against Texas on Thursday.
“He’s going to go on the IL; there’s no way around it,” manager Rocco Baldelli said. “It’s not something that can be played through. So he’s going to be out for a bit.”
The Twins called up outfielder Trevor Larnach from Triple-A St. Paul to fortify their depth. He hit two homers in three games before the call-up.
“He’s got a very potent left-handed bat,” Baldelli said. “When you hand him a bat, he’s a guy that knows what he’s doing. He has good at-bats, he knows the strike zone, he’s a big, strong young man. He can drive the ball to all fields.”
The Tigers also placed one of their starters, catcher Wilson Ramos, on the 10-day injured list due to a back strain. Jake Rogers was called up from Triple-A and will share catching duties with Grayson Greiner until Ramos heals.
“He’s not a young kid anymore and he’s maturing and he should be able to handle this,” Hinch said of Rogers. “I don’t sense that there’s going to be any sort of pressure on him. … Our hope is that Jake can come up here and do some positive things.”
The Twins won the series opener 7-3. Kyle Garlick, Jorge Polanco and Max Kepler homered during a game that was twice delayed by rain.
Willi Castro’s three-run homer accounted for Detroit’s runs. Castro’s homer was just his second of the season. He’s batting .198.
“Willi is really hard on himself,” Hinch said. “He expects a lot and he hasn’t hit nearly as well as he did last season. So certainly for him individually, it’s nice to have some fruit to the labor he’s putting in.”
–Field Level Media