Joe Ryan looks to replicate latest outing as Twins face Braves

June 27 (Reuters) – Two right-handers who failed to allow a run in their recent starts will face off Tuesday when the visiting Minnesota Twins take on the Atlanta Braves in the second of a three-game series.

Atlanta won the series opener 4-1 on Monday and has won 11 of their last 12 games. Minnesota is 2-2 on its current nine-game road trip.

The Twins’ Joe Ryan (8-4, 2.98 ERA) meets the Braves’ Bryce Elder (5-1, 2.40) on Tuesday.

Ryan had a strong showing against the Boston Red Sox on Thursday when he conceded just three hits and scored nine while throwing the first shutout of his career. He was the Twins’ first starter to fire a shutout since Jose Berrios did so in Baltimore on April 1, 2018.

“This performance will stay with us for a long time,” said Minnesota coach Rocco Baldelli.

With the Twins in the middle of a 16-day non-rest period, Ryan felt it was important to conserve some energy in the bullpen.

“We don’t get a lot of days off, so give the bullpen (one) when we can and make some quick outs,” Ryan said. “Give the position guys fresh legs.”

Ryan will face the Braves for the first time in his career. He is 5-7 with a 5.01 ERA in 18 previous starts against new opponents.

Elder went seven innings in Philadelphia on Thursday, limiting the Phillies to three hits and two walks while fanning out six.

“I was able to progress and take my sinker command,” said Elder, the National League ERA leader.

In his last two starts, he has given up a run in 13 innings.

Elder gains momentum in his attempt to make the NL All-Star Team. He started the season in the Triple-A Gwinnett and did an admirable job of replacing top starters Max Fried and Kyle Wright, who were long on the injured list.

“For him to sort of follow in the footsteps of a Cy Young nominee and a 20-game winner last year and have success, I think he deserves an All-Star,” said Braves catcher Travis d’Arnaud.

Elder has never faced the twins.

Atlanta hit two more home runs Monday, both in the seventh inning. Marcell Ozuna’s solo shot gave the Braves a 2-1 lead, and Ronald Acuna Jr.’s shot created two crucial runs.

The Braves now have a major league high of 141 home runs this season, 17 more than the second-placed Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Braves sent rookie AJ ​​Smith-Shawver to Triple-A Gwinnett on Monday and may call on Michael Soroka to start in his place Wednesday afternoon in the series finale.

Soroka allowed one hit, a solo home run, in seven innings in his last minor league start. On Thursday he hit nine and walked two.

The Braves recalled right-hander Dereck Rodriguez to provide some bullpen depth for at least a few days.

The Twins recalled Triple-A Saint Paul right-hander Josh Winder on Sunday to replace Jose De Leon, who was placed on the injured list and will undergo the second Tommy John surgery of his career. Winder threw a scoreless inning Monday and missed a walk in the process.

–Field level media

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