Baker shining on the hill in second half

Baker shining on the hill in second half

ARLINGTON -- The wins have started to come with more regularity for starter Scott Baker since the start of the second half. In seven starts since the All-Star break, Baker is 4-1.

Despite the fact that Baker was getting more wins, there were still some signs of inconsistency in a few of his starts. But it was Baker's last start against the Angels that Twins manager Ron Gardenhire found very encouraging based on the way that Baker was in command of both his stuff and the pace of the game.

Baker pitched seven scoreless innings against the Angels, scattering five hits while walking two and striking out four.

"He was ahead in the count," Gardenhire said. "He pitched effectively out of the zone too. That's where he pitches the best is when he's able to get ahead and get guys to chase with that fastball up and breaking balls out. He's more effective out of the zone than in the zone."

Baker has also had issues at times throughout this career with the pace of the game and Gardenhire said he hopes that Baker can continue to keep things moving in his starts, like he has done in some of his recent successful outings.

"When he scuffles, he starts walking around the back of the mound and we get too long," Gardenhire said. "It's all about command and keeping the pace of the game going."