CLEVELAND -- Liam Hendriks is happy to be making his fourth start for the Twins this season and happy that it will come at Progressive Field, where he earned his first Major League win.
Between 2011-12, Hendriks went 17 outings without a victory before getting a win on Sept. 19, 2012, when he held the Indians to two runs and two hits over six innings. After Friday's win, the Twins officially recalled Hendriks from Triple-A Rochester to start Saturday. To make room, they optioned right-hander Michael Tonkin to the Red Wings.
"It's a good group of guys up here," Hendriks said before Friday's game. "It's a lot of fun, especially in this league. I enjoy it. I'm glad to be back for sure."
The Twins last caught a glimpse of Hendriks -- an Australia native -- on Aug. 9. In the second game of a road doubleheader against the White Sox, Hendriks had a quality start but received a no-decision. Over his last 10 games with the Red Wings, Hendriks had a 3.65 ERA.
"I was throwing the ball well and getting ahead of guys," Hendriks said. "It was fun to pitch, and hopefully I can bring that up here and keep the roll going."
Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said Hendriks was the right pitcher at the right time. The club optioned right-hander Kyle Gibson to Rochester on Tuesday, meaning the Twins needed a starter for Saturday, which happened to be Hendriks' next turn to throw.
Gardenhire noticed positive results from Hendriks in the Minor Leagues as well as his outing in Chicago.
"He threw the ball well for us," Gardenhire said. "He used all his pitches, changed speeds. So now we'll see if we can do it again. But right time goes a long ways, too."
In 23 career Major League starts, Hendriks is 1-11 with a 5.49 ERA. He is 0-1 with a 3.94 ERA in three outings this year.
Tonkin made one appearance during his recent stint with Minnesota. On Wednesday, he gave up three unearned runs in one inning at Detroit.
Hendriks' streak of 17 winless outings at the start of his career tied for the third-longest such stretch in Major League history. He's hoping Progressive Field might treat him well once again. In two career outings here, he is 1-0 with a 4.50 ERA across 12 innings.
"It's always a place that I like to play at," Hendriks said Friday. "The good thing is, we play here a lot. So hopefully in the future there will be a lot more starts here. Tomorrow, I'll just go out there and attack the hitters and see how it goes."
Mark Emery is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.