BOSTON -- The Twins' best chance to score in Saturday's 4-0 loss came in the sixth inning, when Red Sox lefty Rich Hill replaced Clay Buchholz.
Denard Span walked, and Trevor Plouffe was hit by a pitch, putting two aboard for Justin Morneau and Jason Kubel. The Twins trailed 2-0 at the time. They were right in this game.
But Morneau grounded into a 3-6-3 double play, and Kubel struck out before flinging his bat away in disgust. It was one of four strikeouts for Kubel, who remains the only Twin batting above .290, at .336.
Morneau finished 1-for-4 with an infield single, leaving his AVG/OBP/SLG stat line at .211/.279/.305. He has one home run and nine RBI. Saturday's hit was a gift from Red Sox shortstop Marco Scutaro, who double clutched before throwing, as Morneau hustled down the line.
Morneau hit the ball hard in his fourth at-bat, golfing a pitch from Jonathan Papelbon to right field for another out.
As for the double play grounder: "He crushed it; hit it right on the nose," Manager Ron Gardenhire said. "A hanging breaking ball, and he hit it right at the first baseman. If he hits it up in the air, the ball goes into the corner. He hit it as hard as you can hit it, just at him."
Gardenhire continues to sound hopeful about Morneau, adding, "He’s put some good swings on the ball."
But the first baseman is 4-for-26 on this road trip. The sooner he comes around, the better off the Twins will be.