The Twins’ lineup card Monday afternoon included Josh Willingham in left field and Oswaldo Arcia in right — the first big-league game off the disabled list for the pair.
With Aaron Hicks in center, the Twins’ projected starting outfield was back together again for the first time in 42 games.
“Hopefully, they will add some life to the lineup,” Twins assistant general manager Rob Antony said before the game.
Instead, the Twins were their suddenly punchless selves once again, losing 7-2 to Texas at Target Field for their fourth consecutive loss. Willingham and Arcia combined for one hit, and that was because of a defensive breakdown. The Twins scored two runs on nine hits against Texas righthander Nick Tepesch and couldn’t beat a Rangers team that is paying $253,544.21 per day to nine players on the disabled list.
The Twins didn’t even draw a walk Monday. They began the day ranked fourth in baseball with 190 walks — and if you get walks, you usually get runs. But the Twins were 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position. Willingham (left wrist) and Arcia (right wrist) were called up from Class AAA Rochester on Sunday and are expected to make the lineup more productive. All they did on Monday was produce stats for the replay booth.
Arcia had his routine fly ball in the first inning botched by Leonys Martin and Alex Rios, so he slid into third with a triple — until replays showed he was tagged out. Then the Twins challenged the call when Willingham was ruled out while trying to beat out an infield hit in the fifth. No dice, ‘‘Hammer’’ was out.
“Offensively, we just didn’t get it done again,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “We’re happy to get a couple guys back but, right now, we’ve got to figure out how to put some runs on the board and take the pressure off the pitcher.”
The Twins have lost four of their past five games, largely because they haven’t scored more than two runs in any of those games.
“I just think we’re not getting hits right now,” Gardenhire said. “We’ve actually put some nice swings on some balls on the road, at people. Baseball does that. You go in cycles. You get some bloops and you get some to fall in. You just go through a little bit of a funk, and hopefully we’ll be able to get out of this thing.”
Trevor Plouffe’s home run opened the scoring in the first, but Texas responded in the second with run-scoring infield single by Chris Gimenez — Twins righthander Kevin Correia was charged with a throwing error on the play — and an RBI double by Michael Choice. Eduardo Escobar, whose batting average is up to .347, tied the score 2-2 by singling home Willingham in the bottom of the inning.
Correia, who ended a run of poor form last Tuesday with a victory at San Diego, wasn’t awful Monday. But he could have gotten out of the fifth with no runs scored against him. But, after two quick outs, he gave up three consecutive hits, including a two-run double by Elvis Andrus that gave Texas the lead for good at 4-2.
“I think that’s been theme this year,” Correia said, “It’s been one pitch or two pitches a game. You make a good pitch, and it is a world of difference.”
The Rangers tacked on three runs in the eighth off Jared Burton. Six of Texas’ seven runs came with two outs.
“We couldn’t finish off innings,” Gardenhire said.