Bonser faces off vs. Schilling

Bonser leads Twins against Red Sox ace

When the Twins faced the Red Sox for the first time this season back in the middle of June, they looked at it as a critical series.

The Twins knew they had to start winning those types of series to even have a chance at making a run at the playoffs. It certainly turned out the way the club hoped, as they swept Boston in three games to help kick-start a stretch of winning 18 out of 19 games.

"That was a big series for us," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "But any time you're playing Boston, it's huge."

Knowing that each win is critical as they trail the Tigers by just a half-game for the American League Central lead, the Twins are once again viewing a series against Boston as one of their biggest of the season.

On Wednesday, the Twins can possibly overtake the Tigers in the division for the first time all season. The Twins will look to another rookie to earn the win, with Boof Bonser taking the mound.

Bonser won't have an easy test, facing quite a formidable opponent in Curt Schilling, who makes his return to the Red Sox rotation after missing three starts due to a strained lat muscle.

Pitching matchup
MIN: RHP Boof Bonser (5-5, 4.52)
Bonser got a no-decision in his last start against the Indians, but he gave Gardenhire what he wanted by pitching into the sixth inning. Bonser was pulled with two runners on and a 4-1 lead, but Jesse Crain gave up a three-run homer to Andy Marte that tied the game. Bonser struck out six and allowed five hits.

BOS: RHP Curt Schilling (14-7, 4.13)
Schilling is 0-3 in his last five starts, which have been an elusive quest for win No. 15. In his last outing, Schilling became the 14th pitcher in history to record 3,000 strikeouts. Schilling took a no-decision in his only previous start against the Twins this season, giving up six hits and a run over eight innings while striking out five.

Player to watch
Jason Bartlett isn't a prolific home run hitter, but he belted a long ball in his first career game at Fenway Park on Tuesday night. Bartlett has never faced Schilling in his career.

On the Internet
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• FSN North

On radio
• WCCO Radio 830

Up next
• Thursday: Twins (LHP Johan Santana, 18-5, 2.77) at Red Sox (RHP Josh Beckett, 15-10, 5.02), 6:05 p.m. CT
• Friday: Twins (RHP Carlos Silva, 10-13, 5.88) at Orioles (RHP Daniel Cabrera, 7-10, 5.10 ERA), 6:05 p.m. CT
• Saturday: Twins (RHP Scott Baker, 5-8, 6.33) at Orioles (LHP Erik Bedard, 15-9, 3.62 ERA), 3:35 p.m. CT

Kelly Thesier is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.