The Twins turned a promising road trip into a ho-hum affair after they lost two of three games to one of the most mysterious lineups in baseball. I thought the Tampa Bay Rays had won the honors of no-name lineups, but no, that distinction now goes to the Arizona Diamondbacks. I didn’t recognize a single player on that team and yet they won 7-2 on Friday and 7-1 on Sunday.
The culprit in both losses was the Twins’ lack of clutch hitting. The team went a combined 3-for-16 with runners in scoring position and left 13 men on base. Twins pitching also allowed four home runs, including a grand slam, in Sunday’s loss.
The Twins now head home to face the Cleveland Guardians and get their first real test of the season. Cleveland comes into the three-game series hot, having won eight of their last 10 games, while the Twins have played .500 ball over that same span. The Twins lead the Guardians by one game in the AL Central.
Joe Ryan gets the ball Tuesday for the Twins.
-On June 21, 1969, the Twins set a major league record for the 10th inning of a game after they scored 11 runs to beat the Oakland A’s 14-4. The Twins scored the runs on eight hits, including a three-run dinger from slugger Harmon Killebrew, and three errors.
“Here we were on Friday, dying for a run in extra innings,” said Twins manager Billy Martin to the Minneapolis Tribune. “Then today, once we started going, I didn’t think we’d ever stop.”
The A’s had some good teams in the late 1960s and early 1970s, but so did the Twins and they pushed the Athletics around on more than one occasion. The Twins went 13-5 against the A’s in ’69, 13-5 in ’70 and were 14-4 against the World Series-winning A’s in 1973.
Sources: MLB.com, Baseball-Reference.com, Newspapers.com.