The Twins' Pedro Florimon was tagged out at home by Blue Jays catcher J.P. Arencibia in the sixth inning.
CARLOS GONZALEZ, Star Tribune
Rogers, Reyes lead Blue Jays to sweep over Twins
- Article by: La VELLE E. NEAL III
- Star Tribune
- September 9, 2013 - 12:23 AM
If pride is not enough to play for, if being a spoiler is not a role they are comfortable with, there might be something else the Twins can use as motivation over the next several days.
Win a home game before the Vikings do.
It sounds like a slam dunk, but it is not. Because the Twins are dropping game after game at Target Field and setting records for futility at home.
The Twins lost 2-0 on Sunday to Toronto for their 10th consecutive loss at home. That sets a Twins record and ties the Washington Senators’ franchise record set in 1957. Lefthander Andrew Albers tossed seven shutout innings but has little to show for it as Blue Jays righthander Esmil Rogers and his fastball-slider combo were too much for Twins hitters. The Twins’ last home victory was Aug. 15 against the White Sox. They are 1-12 in their past 13 games at Target Field.
“I had no idea that’s what it was,” Twins second baseman Brian Dozier said. “That’s terrible, to be honest with you.”
The Twins have a make-up game Monday against the Angels. Los Angeles has played well lately, and staff ace Jared Weaver will be on the mound. Two teams in the thick of the AL playoff race follow, with three games against AL West leader Oakland followed by a weekend series against Tampa Bay, which is battling for a wild-card berth. The Twins hit the road after that.
The Vikings play at Chicago next Sunday before coming home to play host to Cleveland. Will the Twins win a home game before the Vikings get to the Dome? With an offense that sputters much more than it purrs and a starting rotation that has taken its lumps all season, is anything a sure thing with this club?
After Mike Pelfrey and Kevin Correia put the Twins in a hole in each of the first two games of the series, Albers chewed up Blue Jays hitters Sunday. He’s faced many of them at the Class AA and Class AAA levels, and used that to his advantage.
“I was able to keep them off the fastball, go in and out and mix in the changeup,” Albers said, “It was a huge part of the game. I was able to keep them off balance enough to keep them off base, for the most part.”
Albers can be entertaining to watch. He threw a 65 miles-per-hour changeup to Brett Lawrie. Then Albers struck him out with a 66-mph changeup. With the Toronto offense finally in check after two days of putting baseballs in the seats, all the Twins had to do was come up with a run.
Their chance came, and went, in the sixth. With Pedro Florimon on second, Alex Presley singled past Jose Reyes at short. Florimon looked as if he could score safely but was held up by third base coach Joe Vavra as fans booed.
“Vavra said he lost sight of the ball when Reyes dove for it,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “He didn’t know if he knocked the ball down and it was laying right there. He could not find the ball and he held his hands up.
“That turned into a big one, but we still should have scored.”
Chris Herrmann grounded to second on the next at-bat and Florimon was thrown out at home. Presley and Herrmann were stranded, and fans booed some more when the inning ended. The Twins can’t do much right these days. Toronto scored twice off Jared Burton in the eighth on three hits and a sacrifice, and that was the game.
So this will be an interesting week at Target Field. It’s Weaver on Monday followed by six games against winning teams. Too bad they couldn’t have Monday off to regroup, but the Twins and Angels are making up a game that was rained out in April.
“Not really,” Dozier said. “We need to get on the field as much as possible. We need to iron some things out.’’
© 2013 Star Tribune