The Twins’ four-game winning streak came to end on Saturday after they lost in extra-innings to the Texas Rangers. And then it became back-to-back losses after they managed only four measly hits in a 7-0 loss to Texas on Sunday.
The Twins now seek a split of the series against the Rangers on Monday. Sonny Gray gets the ball.
They desperately need a win on Monday because after that game the Twins hit the road to face the 78-45 Houston Astros for a three-game set. The Twins were swept by the Astros earlier in the year, and if they’re not careful, there’s a good chance their recent four-game winning streak becomes a six-game tailspin if they lose one more game to Texas and three at Houston.
And if that happens, who knows where the Twins will be in the standings by then?
For the moment, the Twins remain 1.5 games back of the Cleveland Guardians because the game between the Guards and Chicago White Sox was rained out on Sunday.
Right now things do not look good for the Twins.
Although starter Joe Ryan took the loss on Sunday, it was again the bullpen that really blew the game. Ryan allowed two runs over six-plus innings, but relievers Trevor Megill and the frequently unreliable Emilio Pagan coughed up five more runs in two-plus innings.
The other bad news is in the rotation: Tyler Mahle, who exited his last start with right shoulder fatigue, has landed on the 15-day disabled list. Lefty Devin Smeltzer has been recalled to replace him.
-The Twins showed some offensive spark in their sweep over the Kansas City Royals, but against Texas they are once again struggling to score with men on base. In the two losses to the Rangers, the Twins went 1-for-14 with runners in scoring position and stranded 14.
-Can we please end major league baseball’s extra-innings experiment? The new extra-innings rule, which requires that a base runner start the inning on second base, has been a complete failure for the Twins. If the Twins had any success with the new rule, I’d probably be more supportive. Instead, since the rule was implemented in 2020, the Twins are 18-21 in extra innings, including 4-8 this season. That’s enough for me: Get rid of it.