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Australian pitcher Thorpe earns MLB start

Australian pitcher Lewis Thorpe is set to start for the Minnesota Twins in their MLB series opener against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

It will be Thorpe’s first start of 2020 – and his third overall – after two scoreless appearances in relief roles this season.

The 24-year-old Victorian is one of three Australians currently active on an MLB roster, along with Twins teammate Aaron Whitefield and Oakland Athletics closing pitcher Liam Hendriks.

Thorpe was struck on the leg by a batted ball during his first outing from the bullpen this season, which forced him out of the game on July 26 when the Twins held a big lead over the Chicago White Sox.

The left-hander was called on again four days later and will return on Tuesday to make a spot start in place of injured teammate Homer Bailey.

Thorpe’s start on Tuesday morning (AEST) comes with the Twins leading the American League Central division with a 7-2 record.

Last year, Thorpe made 12 appearances for the Twins in his debut MLB season.

The former Melbourne Aces (ABL) pitcher has tossed 32.1 MLB innings for a 3-2 win-loss record and an ERA of 5.29, with 32 strikeouts.

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