Morton meets Twins, free on Facebook

Morton meets Twins, free on Facebook

The Twins and Astros will kick off the second half of the season with a three-game set at Minute Maid Park on Friday. Houston's Charlie Morton will go opposite Jose Berrios of Minnesota at 7:10 p.m. CT.

The game will be broadcast live on the official MLB Facebook page (www.facebook.com/mlb), and include an exclusive MLB.com pregame show.

Morton (6-3, 3.82 ERA) made 11 starts in the first half of the season, striking out 68 batters across 63 2/3 innings. He has fanned 9.6 batters per nine innings after posting a 6.3 mark in nearly 900 innings from 2008-16. In his last start, Morton spun six innings of one-run ball against the Blue Jays in his first outing since returning from the disabled list.

Berrios (8-2, 3.53 ERA) also made 11 starts in the first half, and he helped provide some stability for a struggling rotation. Berrios lasted at least six innings in all but three of his starts after doing so just once in 14 outings last year. Last time out, Berrios held the Orioles to four runs (three earned) across six innings to earn the win. Berrios faced the Astros on May 30, lasting a season-low five innings and allowing four runs on five hits.

Three things to know about this game

• The Astros have won all three meetings at Target Field this season, outscoring the Twins by 24 runs. Houston went 5-2 against Minnesota in 2016, posting a plus 26-run differential.

• Morton has faced the Twins only once in his career. The veteran righty lasted 5 2/3 innings on July 28, 2015, as he scattered six hits and allowed three runs in the no-decision.

• Morton has not allowed a run in the first inning in any of his past six starts dating back to May 3. Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw has the longest active streak with 12.

Shane Jackson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Minneapolis. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.