The 2020 MLB season is heating up with just a few weeks to go and two teams with Aussie representatives are keeping their postseason dreams alive in this shortened season.
West Australian Liam Hendriks was awarded the American League Reliever of the Month for August, a result of his hard work at Oakland, while Victorian Lewis Thorpe was recalled from the Twins alternate training site to the main roster for Minnesota's double-header against Detroit.
An exciting announcement was made yesterday when WA's own Liam Hendriks was declared the MLB American League Reliever of the Month.
The Oakland closer earned the recognition following a superb first-half of the season. Hendriks joins fellow A's reliever Blake Treinen as the organisation's only two pitchers to receive the monthly award twice.
For the month of August, the 31-year-old All-Star pitched 14 innings in 14 games, giving up one run on six walks with 20 strikeouts, contributing to two wins, nine saves and an ERA of 0.64.
The last time Hendriks claimed the Reliever of the Month award was for the month of June 2019, as an All-Star berth in July beckoned. This followed a month of similar numbers where the right-hander pitched 15 innings in 14 games, with 10 hits and one run allowed. He struck out 22 and concluded that month with one win, two saves and an ERA of 0.60.
Throughout the 2020 MLB season, Hendriks has pitched 16.1 innings in 16 games with eight hits, two runs and 23 strikeouts for an ERA of 1.10. Hendriks is also the joint-leader in saves among the MLB competition with 10, joined at the top by Cleveland's Brad Hand and Los Angeles Dodgers' Kenley Jansen.
Oakland lost a double-header against Houston on Saturday, 29 August and haven't played since due to a COVID-19 scare. A positive test in the Athletics camp halted the start of their series against Seattle, with those games scheduled for a later date.
Oakland remains in first place in the American League West division with a 22-12 record, as the Athletics host San Diego in a three-game series across the weekend. A five-game series with a make-up game against the Astros will begin from Monday, 7 September.
Follow Oakland’s season on the official MLB website here.
Thorpe was recalled to Minnesota's roster ahead of a double-header against Detroit as the 29th man, eight days after being optioned to the Twins' alternate training site.
The left-hander entered the first game on Saturday, 29 August in the fifth inning. The Twins were down by five runs by the time Thorpe was given the ball, with the game finishing as an 8-2 win to the Tigers after seven innings.
Thorpe gave up four hits for two runs (one earned) in 1.2 innings pitched, with one strikeout and nine batters faced.
Thorpe was dropped once more from the active roster at the conclusion of game two when the Twins needed to cut their roster to 28 ahead of the series finale on Sunday, 30 August.
The 24-year-old started the season with 4.2 scoreless innings in his first two outings, with a total of six appearances through August. Currently, Thorpe holds an ERA of 6.06 from 16.1 innings with 24 hits, 12 runs and 10 strikeouts.
Detroit won each of the three games in that series, while Minnesota also lost the first game against the White Sox before winning the next two during the week, snapping a six-game losing streak. As a result, the Twins have dropped down to third in the American League Central division with a 22-16 record, but they are just 1.5 games back from the White Sox and Indians.
Minnesota will take on Detroit in a five-game series starting with a double-header on Friday, 4 September. A two-game series against St. Louis is slated to begin on Tuesday, 8 September.
For up-to-date schedules, scores and live action from the Twins, visit the official MLB website here.
MLB ON KAYO
If you’re wondering where to watch MLB, Kayo has you covered with some of the biggest games streamed live each week. In addition to MLB Strikezone showings, the Australian sports streaming service has the following lineup for games this next week:
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