From boom to bust: Twins' offense fizzles day after eruption
JUL 02, 2014 5:25p ET
MINNEAPOLIS -- Apparently the Minnesota Twins didn't save any runs after the offense exploded for 10 of them one day earlier.
There were no runs to be had for Minnesota's offense as the Twins were blanked 4-0 by Kansas City on Wednesday. The Royals held Minnesota to just four hits, all singles, to take two out of three games in the series at Target Field.
The hope was that Tuesday's 10-run outburst would carry over into the series finale. It couldn't have been further from the case.
"We're streaky in all aspects pretty much right now," said second baseman Brian Dozier, one of six Twins who went hitless in Wednesday's loss. "We've got to start putting two and two together and win baseball games. . . .We've got to hit. We're not doing it."
Minnesota had just three runners reach second base in Wednesday's loss, and none of them made it further than that. The first was Chris Parmelee, who singled to lead off the fourth and advanced to second on a two-out walk by Oswaldo Arcia. The threat ended, though, when Trevor Plouffe grounded out to the shortstop to end the inning.
Center fielder Sam Fuld singled and stole second base in the fifth inning after umpires overturned the original call that Fuld was out at second on the steal attempt. But he was stranded on second when Eduardo Nunez popped out to second and Dozier grounded out to end the inning.
The only other time a Twins runner reached second base came in the bottom of the ninth inning. Trailing 4-0, Josh Willingham drew a two-out walk and took second base on defensive indifference. Like Parmelee and Fuld before him, though, second base was as far as Willingham would get as Arcia struck out to end the game.
Minnesota did draw three walks, including a pair by Arcia. But it was the 12th time this year that the Twins had four or fewer hits in a game.
The 10 runs the Twins scored Tuesday tied a season high. Wednesday marked the sixth time Minnesota has been shut out this year, and the second instance by the Royals. Coincidentally â or not -- Jason Vargas was on the mound both times Kansas City blanked Minnesota. He limited the Twins to just four hits through seven scoreless innings Wednesday as he improved to 8-3.
"Vargas was tough on us," said Twins manager Ron Gardenhire. "We've faced him a couple times and he's got all the pitches. He knows how to pitch."
Twins starter Kevin Correia was the hard-luck loser Wednesday, thanks to zero run support from his offense. Despite a shaky second inning in which he allowed a pair of runs, Correia managed to get through six innings and exit trailing just 2-0.
In Tuesday's 10-2 win, Ricky Nolasco put up a line similar to Correia's, allowing one run on eight hits in six innings. He, however, had plenty of offense to back him up.
"Some days you're going to go out there and teams will score 10. Sometimes they're not," Correia said. "That's the way baseball is. I've gone out there and pitched terribly and gotten wins and pitched great and got losses. That's just the nature of the game."
Minnesota's offense will have to figure out a way to get going without first baseman Joe Mauer in the lineup. It was announced before Wednesday's game that Mauer was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a right oblique strain. Though his numbers on the season were below his career averages, Mauer had started to hit better over the last few weeks.
Now without his bat in the lineup, the Twins will have to figure out ways to replace him. Parmelee, who extended his hitting streak to 12 games, will likely see more time at first base -- like he did Wednesday. Chris Colabello was recalled from Triple-A Rochester to take Mauer's spot on the roster and will also get his chance at first base.
"(Mauer) was getting on a pretty good roll from the last road trip and started hitting the ball, driving in some runs for us," Gardenhire said. "We'll just kind of move people around as best we possibly can. . . . Some other guys just have to step up when somebody goes down."
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