The Twins have flopped over and over at home lately, with their 11-2 loss to Toronto on Saturday being one of their worst.
The Blue Jays crushed two home runs off righthander Kevin Correia in the first inning as they sprinted to a 5-0 lead, and pulled away in the late innings. A healthy contingent of Blue Jays fans cheered the entire game as their players hit home runs estimated at 410, 421 and 426 feet. Two of those blasts were three-run shots by Adam Lind.
The Twins have lost nine consecutive games at home, tying a club record, and have lost their past four series at home. It is a baffling trend.
The Twins have won only two series at Target Field since the All-Star break. On the road, they have won five series, lost two and tied one. The Twins have won series at Detroit, leaders of the AL Central, and at Texas, which was leading the AL West at the time.
But they have returned to Target Field following these road trips and have played like they miss room service and busing to the ballpark.
"There's no rhyme or reason for it," said Correia, who was unaware of the trend. "People look for reasons why certain streaks happen. That's just baseball."
Hard to explain? Certainly. But they are on the verge of being swept by the Blue Jays in three-game series — and setting a record that goes back to their arrival in 1961.
"I can't figure it out," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We seem to be getting behind in a lot of baseball games. We haven't had many quality starts at home. We've had some games that we were in or have gotten back in and haven't been able to finish them off. There have been some exciting ones."
There was nothing exciting about Saturday, as they fell to 1-11 in their past 12 home games and Correia dropped to 9-11 on the season.
The Twins continue to wait for Class AAA Rochester to finish its season before summoning September callups. But they have brought up Class A Cedar Rapids coach Tommy Watkins for 10 days. The popular Watkins played 12 seasons in the Twins minor league system before getting a callup for nine games in 2007. Now he works with Kernels manager Jake Mauer.
One thing rookies deal with when called up is the speed of the game on the major league level. Watkins can see that difference for himself, then try to prepare prospects accordingly.
"It's more valuable to the staff than the players, frankly," Twins General Manager Terry Ryan said.
Rochester manager Gene Glynn will join the Twins once the Red Wings' season is over.
Winter ball roundup
The Twins are in the process of wrapping up winter ball assignments for players throughout their organization.
Most of the Latin players in the organization spend some of the offseason in the winter leagues, and the Twins try to find work for other prospects if they are interested. Sometimes they suggest to a player that winter ball will benefit them.
The word is that the Twins would like to have outfielder Aaron Hicks play winter ball this offseason, and they have a spot lined up for him in Puerto Rico if he wants it. There are no indications that Hicks will play. Hicks was the Opening Day center fielder but was sent to Rochester after batting .192 in 81 games.
Blue Jays outfielder Moises Sierra left after the third inning because of lower back pain.