June 29, 2016

Twins finally snap six-game losing streak to White Sox with shutout win

Update: The good news is that Brian Dozier continues to mash, collecting an extra-base hit in his 11th straight game and taking over the team lead in home runs with 13. The bad news is this: What in the world do the Twins do with their rotation? Kyle Gibson and Tyler Duffey will win the occasional start, but I don’t think anyone expects more than that, and Tommy Milone, Ricky Nolasco and Ervin Santana don’t appear long for the Twins. But what do you do? Send ’em down to the minors and bring up a fresh-faced crop of rookies? Make desperate deals at the trade deadline? Cut ’em loose and eat their contracts? Pray for rain? Milone wasn’t sharp on Thursday, giving up five runs, all earned, in three-plus innings. The Twins rallied so he didn’t figure in the decision and then closer Fernando Abad got hung with the loss. Final: 6-5, White Sox. If the Twins can show this much patience with Duffey, they can do the same with Jose Berrios. It’s time to bring him back up.

Earlier: The winning streaks don’t last long, do they? After back-to-back wins against the Yankees and White Sox, the Twins returned to a more familiar pattern and lost 9-6 to the Chisox on Wednesday. The Twins were game until the end, scoring five runs in the top of the ninth, but it wasn’t enough to overcome a 9-1 deficit. Starter Ricky Nolasco is still hunting for his fourth win after he got rocked, giving up seven earned runs in five-plus innings, including three solo shots to Brett Lawrie, Tyler Saladino and Todd Frazier. The bullpen wasn’t much better as Michael Tonkin and Kevin Jepsen surrendered a run each. On the offensive side of things, the Twins banged out 11 hits, including Brian Dozier’s 10th straight game with an extra-base hit to set a new franchise record. Tommy Milone gets the ball on Thursday.

Original post: Kyle Gibson went seven innings, Brian Dozier provided all the offense and the Twins snapped a six-game losing streak to the Chicago White Sox to win 4-0 on Tuesday. Not only did the Twins get their first win versus the Pale Hose, but Gibson picked up his first win of the season.

Gibson was sharp, scattering five hits over seven innings with one walk and seven strikeouts. The bullpen did its job as well with two scoreless innings. Meanwhile, Dozier hit two home runs to drive in all four runs.

After hitting around .200 for most of the season, the second baseman has caught fire and raised his average to about .260 with a dozen dingers in recent weeks. He has tied the slumping Byung Ho Park (now hitting .191) for the team lead in homers. Miguel Sano has 11. Dozier, who has hit 20-plus home runs the past two seasons, appears to be on track to do that again.

Ricky Nolasco gets the ball on Wednesday.

Extra innings…

-Starter Phil Hughes will have season-ending surgery, but not because he took a liner off the leg. Instead, he will have surgery on his shoulder. According to MLB.com:

Hughes will have the surgery on July 6 in Minnesota to relieve the effects of thoracic outlet syndrome, a condition that compresses nerves or blood vessels in the arm. The procedure requires the removal of a rib in order to create more space for the vessels and nerves.

It’s another disappointing season for Hughes. After winning 16 games in his first season with the Twins, Hughes has struggled with injuries ever since. He finishes the year 1-7 with an ERA of 5.95.

-The Twins finally beat the White Sox, but they still remain winless versus the Baltimore Orioles (0-5), Detroit Tigers (0-6) and Oakland A’s (0-3). They also did not beat the Washington Nationals (0-3), but a check of the schedule shows that the two teams won’t meet again this season. The Twins will have to even the score at a later date.

MLB Daily Dish, citing a report by Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe, says that Twins starter Ervin Santana is a possible trade candidate:

Santana, 33, has posted a 2-7 record and 4.64 ERA so far this season, though scouts tell Cafardo that he will still draw strong interest on the trade market. Santana is under team control through the 2018 season, and is owed at least $28 million in guaranteed money in that time.






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.