April 18, 2016

Twins end 9-game losing streak with sweep of Angels

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.

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.




Hi, I’m Rolf Boone, Twins fan.

I became a fan of the Minnesota Twins after a friendly wager in the early 1980s. I survived Ron Davis, the meltdown in Cleveland, Phil Bradley at the Kingdome and then marveled at a rising generation of stars and two World Series wins in 1987 and 1991. Brad Radke made the 1990s bearable, while Kirby Puckett’s eye injury, exit from the game and eventual death made it almost too much to bear. The new century ushered in more talent — Joe Mauer, Johan Santana, Joe Nathan, Torii Hunter, Justin Morneau — and consecutive seasons of playoff baseball, followed by consecutive seasons of losing baseball. A winning season returned in 2015. So here we are. Go Twins.