The Minnesota Twins’ rotation is starting to get healthy, which is bad news for the teams chasing them in the American League Central division.

Joe Ryan (5-2, 2.28 ERA), who has been out since May 25 after testing positive for COVID-19, is scheduled to start Tuesday’s game at Seattle. Fellow right-hander Sonny Gray might be back as early as Wednesday afternoon after a stint on the injured list with a right pectoral strain.

The Twins are still without starting pitchers Josh Winder (right shoulder impingement) and Bailey Ober (right groin strain). Winder is expected back next week, while Ober’s return has yet to be determined.

“Once we can finally pencil them back in, regardless of who we’re talking about, once you get past the first name and the second name and the third name and they start coming back … I think it will be a pick-me-up for the rest of the group,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. “There’ve been some guys out there who’ve been pushing through this, and a few that have been healthy and have played the entire time. It’s not easy to do when everyone else kind of drops off or gets hurt.”

The Twins have just kept chugging along, thanks in large part to the top three in their lineup: Luis Arraez, Byron Buxton and Carlos Correa. Arraez leads the majors with a .362 average, Buxton is the reigning American League Player of the Week and Correa is back after two stints on the injured list.

Arraez lined the game’s first pitch for a single Monday and Buxton followed with a two-run homer, his fourth in five games against Seattle this season, as the Twins won the opener of the three-game series 3-2.

“That’s as good a top three as you’re going to see,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “Buxton is having a good season with 17 or 18 home runs, we know about Correa and Arraez has been incredible.”

Mariners right-hander Logan Gilbert (6-2, 2.41) will try to slow the top of the Twins’ order Tuesday. Gilbert faced the Twins once previously, on April 9 in Minneapolis. He allowed one run — an Arraez homer — on three hits in five innings, with one walk and seven strikeouts, but didn’t get a decision as Seattle won 4-3.

Ryan’s only previous start against the Mariners came on Opening Day this season, a 2-1 loss. He gave up a two-run homer to the since-injured Mitch Haniger in the first inning. Ryan went four innings and gave up two hits, walked four and fanned four.

Baldelli said he was pleased his team won the opener of its six-game trip, which includes a three-game interleague series at Arizona following the stop in Seattle.

“It’s definitely the way you want to start the road trip coming out to the West Coast you know, flying across the country,” Baldelli said. “Everyone does feel those kinds of things, but our guys played well and started the game out in a nice fashion.”

–Field Level Media