August 24, 2016

Losing streak grows to 5 games after Twins drop opener to Tigers

The Twins endured a self-inflicted loss on Tuesday with too many walks, too many wild pitches and too many home runs. The result was an 8-3 loss to the Detroit Tigers and a losing streak that stands at five games.

Starter Kyle Gibson got hung with the loss and fell to 5-8. He had command issues on Tuesday after he walked four batters in five innings and also uncorked two wild pitches. Just like walks and errors, wild pitches will haunt a team as well, allowing runners to advance and eventually score.

Gibson lasted only five innings, then stepped aside for reliever Michael Tonkin who quickly fell apart. Tonkin gave up two home runs and also threw a wild pitch in one-plus innings of work. And that was the game. Relievers Pat Light, J.T. Chargois and Pat Dean mopped up with two-plus innings of scoreless relief.

It’s been well established that Twins pitching has struggled this year, while team hitting has shown more promise. But not lately. Suddenly the bats have cooled. The Twins collected six hits on Tuesday, eight hits on Sunday, four hits on Saturday and seven on Friday. Tuesday’s loss dropped them to 49-76.

Extra innings…

-Brian Dozier hit his 29th home run in Tuesday’s game, a new career high for the second baseman.

-Three wild pitches from Gibson and Tonkin now gives the Twins 63 on the season, the second most in the American League behind the Houston Astros.

-Relief prospect Pat Light, who came to the Twins from the Boston Red Sox in exchange for lefty reliever Fernando Abad, made his first appearance for the team on Tuesday. He pitched a scoreless inning of relief with a hit and strikeout.

-The Twins are still looking for their 50th win of the season. The Twins last season won game No. 50 on July 17.





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.