Monday’s loss to the Cleveland Indians, the 11th straight for the struggling Twins, may have been the most painful of the season-worst losing streak.
That’s because the Twins battled for 10 innings and got an improved effort from starting pitcher Hector Santiago. Yet in the bottom of the 10th, the Indians’ Jason Kipnis singled home the winning run to walk-off with a 1-0 victory.
Twins — 21 runs in 3 games in Toronto & get swept. Now, miracle occurs, Santiago puts up zeroes & they can't score. You gotta hate 'em.
— Patrick Reusse (@1500ESPN_Reusse) August 30, 2016
I scoffed at the notion that extra rest for Santiago and his thumb would make a difference, but it appears to have worked because he gave the Twins six-plus innings, allowing three hits and no runs with four walks and two strikeouts. The Tribe’s Trevor Bauer also blanked the Twins for six innings and then both bullpens took it from there. Kipnis finally singled off Twins closer Brandon Kintzler, who got hung with the loss and fell to 0-1.
The Twins certainly had chances to score and possibly win Monday’s game. Max Kepler came to the plate late in the game with the bases loaded and couldn’t produce, contributing to the 11 men left on base. They also banged out nine hits, including doubles from Joe Mauer, Jorge Polanco and Eddie Rosario, and yet still couldn’t score.
The Twins fall to 8-6 on the season versus the Tribe, but they have a good chance to make it nine wins and end the losing streak when they face Josh Tomlin on Tuesday. Tomlin, who had a good first half, has hit a rough patch this month, going 0-5 with an ERA of 10.80, according to MLB.com.
Meanwhile, journeyman Andrew Albers, recently recalled to join the Twins bullpen, gets the ball on Tuesday. He last made a big league start in 2013, according to MLB.com, which also noted that Albers shutout the Indians the same year.
Just what the doctor ordered.