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4:10 PM PT5:10 PM MT6:10 PM CT7:10 PM ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 PM MST6:10 PM EST6:40 PM VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 PM CT, April 18, 2018
Hiram Bithorn Stadium, San Juan,   Attendance: 19,537

Twins' Berrios excited to start vs. Indians in San Juan

Jose Berrios has started 42 games in his brief major league career, but none of them may rank as high on his list of memories as his next.

Berrios will take the mound Wednesday when the Minnesota Twins face the Cleveland Indians at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Or, as Berrios likes to call the island ... home.

The 23-year-old was born and raised less than 10 miles away in Papa Juan and expects to have as many as 150 relatives and friends in the stadium when he hurls the game's first pitch, becoming the first native Puerto Rican to throw a major-league pitch in his native land since the Expos' Javier Vazquez on Sept. 7, 2003

"My family has been waiting a long time for this, just like I have," Berrios said. "This is a special moment for all of us, for the country to come together as one."

Berrios was Minnesota's first-round pick (32nd overall) in the 2012 draft and made his major-league debut late in the 2016 season. He established himself as a potential cornerstone of the Twins' rotation a year ago, going 14-8 with a 3.89 ERA in 25 starts and was a leading candidate to be the team's Opening Day starter.

Instead, manager Paul Molitor adjusted his rotation to make sure Berrios' turn would fall during one of the two games in Puerto Rico -- a plan that nearly was shattered when a spring blizzard wiped out three straight games ahead of the road trip.

Knowing how meaningful the occasion was, Lance Lynn volunteered to wait until Friday for his next turn -- a full 10 days after his last outing -- so Berrios could keep the start.

"He beat me to the punch," said Jake Odorizzi, who started Tuesday in the Twins' 6-1 loss to Cleveland. "He volunteered for it. We both wanted Jose to throw down here. This is a very special thing. We're excited to see him in his homeland, getting to throw in front of a bunch of family."

Berrios (2-1, 2.18 ERA) has gotten off to a good start in 2018, sandwiching a pair of shutout efforts around a five-run hiccup through his first three turns through the rotation. He struck out a season-high 11 over seven innings in his last appearance, a 4-0 Twins victory over Chicago last Thursday.

"That was masterful," Molitor said. "Maybe one of his better outings -- even after he threw a shutout (April 1 at Baltimore) -- in terms of being in command of where you saw the baseball and using all his pitches."

He's 2-2 with a 5.31 ERA in four career starts against Cleveland, which sends righty Carlos Carrasco to the mound.

Like Berrios, Carrasco picked up where he left off last season, too. An 18-game winner in 2017, Carrasco has earned the victory in each of his first three starts, striking out 14 while posting a 3.48 ERA over 20 2/3 innings of work.

He held Detroit to a run on three hits and a pair of walks while striking out six in a complete-game victory his last time out.

"Carlos pitched a heckuva game," said Indians manager Terry Francona. "His off-speed stuff was so effective coming off of his fastball. He stayed down with it so consistently that he gives himself a chance against every hitter."

Carrasco has earned a victory in his last 12 decisions against AL Central opponents and is 9-0 with a 1.92 ERA during his last 10 starts overall.

He faced the Twins three times last season, winning all three while posting a 0.92 ERA. For his career, Carrasco is 5-6 with 3.83 ERA against Minnesota in 17 appearances, including 14 starts.

Updated April 17, 2018

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