The Twins appeared to patch another hole in their starting rotation Saturday night. Now, if they could only fix the gaping holes in their lineup.
P.J. Walters arrived from Class AAA Rochester and held the hard-swinging Blue Jays to two runs over six innings, but rookie righthander Drew Hutchison was even more effective against the Twins.
Jose Bautista broke a sixth-inning tie with a home run to left field -- on a call overturned by the umpires after they viewed the video replay -- and Toronto held on for a 2-1 victory.
The first sellout crowd since the home opener spent a picturesque spring evening watching the Twins go 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position, as they fell to 4-15 in their past 19 games.
"We hit some balls hard," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "They made some plays on us also, but we failed in a lot of opportunities."
As frustrating as the Twins' offensive struggles have been, starting pitching was their most glaring weakness until this week, when Scott Diamond and Walters joined the rotation.
Diamond replaced Liam Hendriks and tossed seven shutout innings to beat the Angels last Tuesday. Walters replaced Francisco Liriano and limited Toronto to six hits, with no walks and five strikeouts.
"They've handled themselves well," Gardenhire said of Walters and Diamond, who pitches Sunday's series finale. "We're looking for a shot in the arm. Our bullpen's beat to death out there, so we're looking for some quality starts, and we're getting them. We've got two of them so far. You need those if you're going to survive."
A quality start seems so basic -- at least six innings pitched, three or fewer earned runs allowed -- yet the Twins have received only nine of them in 33 games, ranking last in the majors.
Bautista, right on cue, rips another key homer
Minneapolis Star Tribune | May 13