The nine-game losing streak is over after the Twins not only captured their first win of the season but won consecutive games to sweep the Angels at Target Field.
As my late, legendary high school coach Scott Muckey would say, "Well, we know one thing. We're not gonna lose them all." 😎
— Trevor Plouffe (@TPlouffe24) April 16, 2016
What a relief it is for Twins nation because the team absolutely could not hit during the losing streak, and what a difference a few more hits will make.
The Twins banged out eight hits to secure their first win of the season on Friday, followed by 10 hits on Saturday and 13 hits on Sunday to beat the Angels 3-2 in 12 innings.
The team is also showing more patience at the plate. The team struck out 17 times against the Angels, compared to 22 times against the White Sox and 37 times versus the Royals.
And batting averages finally are on the rise.
Joe Mauer (.372) and Eduardo Nunez (.556) have provided most of the offense to date, but Trevor Plouffe (.302), Oswaldo Arcia (.294) and Miguel Sano are starting to come around.
Arcia had three hits on Sunday, including the walk-off winning hit in the bottom of the 12th. Sano is still hitting under .200, but he had three hits against the Angels, while Plouffe topped them all with eight hits in the series. Plouffe, though, appeared to get hurt in Sunday’s game. Hopefully, he’s not out of the lineup for long.
The Twins were rarely blown out during the losing streak because quality starting pitching kept them in games. A few more hits and starters will be rewarded with a few more wins.
Tommy Milone gave them six innings on Friday to snap the losing streak. Ricky Nolasco gave up four runs early in Saturday night’s game against the Angels, but then held them scoreless through seven innings, and Kyle Gibson followed him on Sunday with seven innings of his own.
Meanwhile, the bullpen, which had a rough spring, was brilliant versus the Angels. They pitched three scoreless innings on Friday, two scoreless innings on Saturday and five scoreless frames on Sunday. They also had three wins and two saves. Michael Tonkin, whose spring ERA blew up, struck out four over two innings on Sunday to secure the third win in the series.
Bottom line: The losing streak is over and the bats are starting to heat up. Bring on the Brewers!
Phil Hughes gets the ball on Monday.
It'll be a miracle if no hands are broken in that Twins' high-five line. They seem pumped up. It's been a long two weeks.
— Phil Miller (@MillerStrib) April 16, 2016
Make that four strikeouts in two perfect innings for Michael Tonkin. Hitting as high as 97 mph on the radar gun.
— Rhett Bollinger (@RhettBollinger) April 17, 2016
— Mike Berardino (@MikeBerardino) April 17, 2016