Twins get good news on injury front, visit Mariners

A dominant getaway day victory almost took a turn for the worse for the Minnesota Twins on Thursday afternoon. Carlos Correa, the oft-injured shortstop, exited the game in the seventh inning after being hit on the right wrist by a pitch from Arizona’s Bryce Jarvis. X-rays were negative, and Correa, who experienced numbness in his entire hand and expressed frustration by slamming his batting helmet on the bench, promised to be ready for Friday’s series opener against the AL West-leading Seattle Mariners. “You think the worst right away, then when you get the good news you’re very happy,” said Correa, who reached base five times with a single, two walks, catcher’s interference, and a hit by pitch in the 13-6 road victory.

The Twins, who are in a tight race with Cleveland in the AL Central and are also vying for a wild-card spot, can’t afford to lose Correa, who boasts a .309 batting average and an on-base-plus-slugging percentage of .873. “It looks like we’re going to be able to get past this,” said Twins manager Rocco Baldelli. “It’s never what you want to see. Could have been ugly, but it was apparently not.” However, Baldelli wasn’t ready to confirm Correa’s place in the lineup against the Mariners. “We’ll see how the swelling is and things like that, and that’ll probably decide what the next day or two look like, but it’s, relatively speaking, good news,” he added.

Byron Buxton contributed three hits, including a three-run home run, as the Twins built an 11-0 lead through 3 1/2 innings. Buxton was also hit by a pitch. “We had a very good approach,” Baldelli said. “You really can’t swing the bats too much better than we did today.”

Twins right-hander David Festa, making his major league debut, pitched five innings for the win. “It was an exciting moment to have my family and friends here,” Festa said. “It meant a lot to me. … The lineup put a lot of runs up early and made my job a lot easier.”

The Mariners, who had Thursday off after a 3-6 trip to Cleveland, Miami, and Tampa Bay, are looking to bounce back. “We had a bad trip,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “It happens to the best teams in the league, and I do think we’re one of the best teams in the league.” George Kirby allowed one run over six innings and Cal Raleigh hit a three-run homer in a 5-2 victory on Wednesday. “It’s just good to end the road trip on a good note,” Kirby said. “Happy flight.”

Friday’s series opener will feature a pair of right-handers: Minnesota’s Bailey Ober (7-4, 4.50 ERA) and Seattle’s Logan Gilbert (5-4, 2.71). Ober, coming off a complete-game victory at Oakland, is 2-0 with a 4.05 ERA in four career starts against the Mariners. He allowed two runs on three hits over five innings against Seattle on May 7 in Minneapolis but didn’t get a decision in a 10-6 loss. Gilbert, who has pitched eight scoreless innings in each of his past two starts, is 2-1 with a 4.95 ERA in four previous starts against the Twins. He had his worst start of the season on May 9 at Minnesota, giving up eight runs over four innings in an 11-1 defeat.

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