SAN DIEGO -- Paul Molitor arrived at Petco Park to prepare for Tuesday's game against the Padres, went to the whiteboard where the lineup is posted and wrote, 'No retreat, No surrender.'
It's a line from Bruce Springsteen's hit 'No Surrender,' which he listened to while walking along the San Diego Bay earlier in the day, and felt it was the statement his team needs to make after watching Jaime Garcia and Brandon Kintzler traded in recent days, moves that sellers make at the trade deadline.
Second baseman Brian Dozier agreed.
"There are no white flags in this locker room, by any means," he said. "Is it going to be an uphill battle? Absolutely. But I find motivation to dig deeper."
It's not enough right now, because the Twins offense continues to have stretches when it doesn't produce. On Tuesday, it lasted for nine innings as San Diego crafted a 3-0 win to beat the Twins for the first time in six games played at Petco Park.
The Twins wasted a dominant outing by righthander Jose Berrios, who didn't allow a hit through six innings and left after seven having given up one run on two hits.
While the Twins had no luck against San Diego righthander Jhoulys Chacin and the Padres bullpen, Austin Hedges smashed a two run, opposite field home run off Alan Busenitz for extra measure.
Chaska's Brand Hand pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to pick up his seventh save as the Twins dropped to 1-6 on their current West coast road trip. They also have lost seven of their last eight and eight of their last ten.
“It’s not fun when you do so well and things don’t go your way," Berrios, 9-5, said. "We’re definitely still trying to compete.”
Berrios entered Tuesday with a 5.76 ERA over his previous six starts. But he reverted to his tantalizing form from May, when he was called up from Class AAA Rochester and started 7-1. In seven innings, Berrios held San Diego to one run on two hits and two walks with four strikeouts.
His only blemish during the first half of the game was a one out walk to Carlos Asuaje in the first inning, but he was quickly erased on a double play. Berrios then took advantage of some free swinging Friars, baffling them with his curveball and blowing 95 mile per hour heaters by them.
"He used all his pitches," Molitor said. "The fastball was good. He added a little extra velocity when he needed it for a couple strikeouts."
Berrios lost the no hitter, the shutout and, eventually, the game, in the sixth.
Hunter Renfroe led off with a chopper to third. Miguel Sano was playing back and did all he could to gather the ball and throw to first, but Renfroe was safe.
Hedges then blasted a 1-1 pitch to right. Max Kepler failed to get a good jump on the ball and it landed just out of his reach for a double, putting runners on second and third.
Chacin tapped to third for the first out. Manuel Margot, named NL player of the week on Monday, lined out to Byron Buxton to center, but it was deep enough for Renfroe to score the first run of the game.
Hedges homer was just a bonus as the Twins were 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position. Their best chance to score was the third inning, when the first two batters reached on San Diego errors, bringing the top of the order to the plate
Dozier popped out to third. Max Kepler struck out looking. Sano tapped back to Chacin.
“I think guys are trying to maybe do a little too much," Molitor said. "Or the usual symptoms when you press and try to win games. Try to keep the line moving rather than try to hit a three-run homer, or those type of things. You’re just trying to look for a quality at bat with runners in scoring position.”