Fast-rising Rox, Twins set to clash on MLB.TV

Fast-rising Rox, Twins set to clash on MLB.TV

Two of baseball's surprise first-place teams square off tonight as the Twins and Rockies begin a three-game series at Target Field at 8:10 p.m. ET.

Minnesota sends veteran righty Phil Hughes (4-1, 4.74 ERA) to the mound, while rookie southpaw Kyle Freeland (3-2, 2.93) takes the ball for the Rockies.

Freeland looks to redeem himself after a disastrous fifth inning stained his last start, costing him five runs (three earned) against the Cubs. Freeland, though, ended that game at Wrigley Field strong, retiring the final 13 batters he faced, and he did not give up a hit outside of that fifth inning. He'll carry that momentum into tonight's matchup against Hughes, who's also hoping to bounce back after giving up four earned runs on six hits over 4 2/3 innings in his last start against the White Sox. Hughes had won four of his previous six starts.

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Here's what else to watch for throughout the night (all times ET):

Cards look to back Lynn, carry momentum: BOS@STL, 8:15 p.m.

The Redbirds took two of three games from the defending World Series champion Cubs over the weekend and, after an off-day Monday, they'll be featured in today's MLB Showcase Game. The first-place Cardinals will send early Comeback Player of the Year candidate Lance Lynn to the hill. Lynn missed all of 2016 recovering from Tommy John surgery and, although he was roughed up for the first time this season in his last start, has gone 4-1 with a 2.75 ERA in seven starts.

Lynn faces Red Sox lefty Eduardo Rodriguez, who's off to a hot start with a 2.80 ERA and 42 strikeouts in 35 1/3 innings after an up-and-down 2016 season. The 24-year-old has reeled off four consecutive quality starts, including a six-inning, one-run masterpiece against the Brewers in his last outing.

Rodriguez vs. Lynn

Hill takes the hill again: LAD@SFG, 10:15 p.m. ET

The Dodgers' Rich Hill hopes the third time will prove the charm, as his first two starts this season sent him to the disabled list with a blister on his left middle finger. The Los Angeles bullpen is banking on the left-hander's five-inning, no-hit start for the Dodgers' Class A Advanced squad on Wednesday, which went off without incident.

Hill vs. Blach

Hill will face converted reliever Ty Blach, who looks to secure the Giants his first win since taking over for an injured Madison Bumgarner in the rotation. Blach is 0-2 this year with a 4.88 ERA and seven strikeouts.

Megan Zahneis is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.