MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - Both Jorge Polanco and Jose Berrios made early appearances representing the Minnesota Twins in the Major League Baseball All-Star Game Tuesday night at Progressive Field in Cleveland.
Polanco, hitting .312 to lead the Twins, swung and missed on a Clayton Kershaw curve ball to end the second inning, stranding Houston Astros outfielder Michael Brantley at second. He got another chance with a runner in scoring position in the bottom of the fifth. With Gary Sanchez at third, Polanco got a run-scoring hit on a sharp grounder off the glove of Max Muncy. It gave the American League a 2-0 lead at the time.
Polanco will start the second half of the season at Cleveland Friday night with 13 homers, 23 doubles and 42 RBI on the season. He's had a bounce back year after starting last season suspended the first 80 games, failing a drug test for performance-enhancing drugs.
Berrios, the Twins' ace on the mound, pitched the top of the third for the American League. He gave up a lead-off double to Ketel Marte of the Arizona Diamondbacks. He followed by striking out Ronald Acuna Jr. on a curveball, struck out Milwaukee Brewers star Christian Yelich looking with an outside corner fastball and got Javy Baez to pop out to short left field to end the inning, stranding Marte at second. Polanco made a bid to catch the fly ball, but was called off on the play by Brantley.
Berrios threw 13 pitches in the inning. Baez is Berrios's brother-in-law, and got him out in last year's All-Star Game as well.
Berrios is 8-5 on the season in 18 starts for the Twins with a 3.0 earned run average. He's got 104 strikeouts and just 23 walks in 117 innings pitched. With pitching Tuesday night, he's likely to get pushed back to starting this weekend in Cleveland.
Twins' pitcher Jake Odorizzi was also selected to the All-Star Game, but did not pitch Tuesday as he finishes recovering from a blister on his throwing hand. Odorizzi is 10-4 in 17 starts with a 3.15 ERA in 88 2/3 innings pitched. He has 96 strikeouts on the season, and opponents are hitting just .214 off him.
The Twins (56-33) lead the Indians by 5.5 games in the AL Central and come out of the All-Star break on Friday with a pivotal three-game series at Cleveland.