Pablo López, Minnesota Twins
Pablo López became the fourth different Twins pitcher with multiple 14-strikeout games in franchise history Carlos Gonzalez/Via Star Tribune

SEATTLE - Two hits and a walk were all that separated Venezuelan right-handed pitcher Pablo López from throwing a perfect game over the weekend. On June 23, as López prepared for his 16th start of the season, very few expected the Venezuelan to go out and pitch eight scoreless innings at a high level.

It was the fifth time in López's career that he went for eight or more innings and the first time this season. The Minnesota Twins pitcher lost his bid for a perfect game on a two-out single in the sixth, but he nonetheless finished the game tying his career high with 14 strikeouts against the Athletics.

With his second 14-strikeout game for the Twins, López became the fourth different pitcher in franchise history with multiple 14-strikeout games for the team, joining Bert Blyleven, Johan Santana and Camilo Pascual.

His terrific form against Oakland was a breath of fresh air for López, as he has been struggling for most part of the season. Even after his eight scoreless frames, his ERA remains a high 5.11. In his previous three starts in the month of June, López had allowed 14 earned runs in just 13 innings.

After keeping the A's at bay, López was already thinking about the next game when asked about his wonderful performance. "It feels really good, but now, it's like, 'How can we make it happen again? If I did it once, I can do it again,'" López said. "Just keeping that mentality. Obviously, a game where things went the way they went today allows me to be like, 'You know what? My confidence should ... stay up for most of the time.'"

Pablo López whiffs 14 batters through 8 innings of work in his start against the A's

With the win, López improved to a record of 7-6 this season all while pitching his first scoreless game of 2024. Last season, he had six scoreless starts with three of those coming all in a row during the month of August.

After taking the series against Oakland, the Twins will now prepare for another six games on the road as they take on the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Seattle Mariners before returning home in July.

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