The Twins have split the first two games of their three-game series at home against the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Twins scored two runs on five hits to shut out the Bucs on Friday because J.A. Happ allowed only one hit over seven-plus innings. Otherwise, a five-hit game is not ideal.
On Saturday, the Twins couldn’t even do that, connecting for only three hits in a 6-2 loss to the Bucs. Jake Cave hit two doubles, Willians Astudillo a single, but it wasn’t nearly enough after Michael Pineda had a rare down day, allowing five runs (four earned) on six hits over four-plus innings.
More impressive was long reliever Devin Smeltzer, who allowed only one unearned run over four-plus innings with a walk and three strikeouts.
Matt Shoemaker, who needs to redeem himself after an ugly outing against the Oakland A’s in his previous start, gets the ball Sunday.
-The Twins are now 7-12 this season, a game out of last place and already five games behind the division-leading Kansas City Royals. Nothing is really clicking for this Twins team.
-Center fielder Byron Buxton made another standout effort on defense. These would be a lot more fun to celebrate if the team would actually win. Brian Dozier hit 42 home runs in 2016, but the team lost 103 games.
-Old friend watch: Texas Rangers pitcher Kyle Gibson made another quality start in a no-decision loss to the Chicago White Sox on Saturday. He allowed a run over six innings with two walks and five strikeouts.
-And then there was this…
#MNTwins lineup the past two games:
Jake Cave and Willians Astudillo: 5-for-12 (.417) with two homers, two doubles, and three RBI
All other hitters combined: 3-for-46 (.065) with zero homers, zero doubles and one RBI
— Aaron Gleeman (@AaronGleeman) April 24, 2021