PORT CHARLOTTE, FLA. – The onslaught began against Hector Santiago, continued through Tyler Duffey then included Felix Jorge and the rest of the Twins bullpen.
As inept as their pitching was Tuesday, the Twins offense was just as futile.
The result was a lopsided 19-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays in a Grapefruit League mismatch. The Rays scored all their runs before the Twins had a baserunner, which came in the eighth when Benji Gonzalez's grounder got by second baseman Ryan Brett — and his effort left something to be desired. The Twins added two singles in the ninth.
The beatdown necessitated mound visits by both pitching coach Neil Allen and manager Paul Molitor. Molitor appeared twice to remove pitchers in the middle of innings.
The Twins were shut out on three hits while Tampa Bay scored 19 runs on 23 hits.
Molitor wanted to get his starters two at-bats — he just didn't envision that it would take six innings to do so.
"They were throwing strikes and we had trouble squaring anything up early," he said. "[We had] a couple long innings defensively."
Santiago said he had a good feel for all his pitches Tuesday, but a couple of fly balls carried farther than he expected. After getting out of the first inning with only one hit allowed, Santiago failed to retire all five batters he faced in the second before being removed for pitch count reasons.
Curt Casali hit a two-run homer off the foul pole in left. Nick Franklin hit a first pitch screwball over the wall for a two-run homer.
"We knew he was a big cheater first pitch," Santiago said of Franklin. "We tried to get him off the fastball. He was out in front, too, but got it on the barrel. My mistake for trying to throw a strike instead of getting aggressive and try to bounce it."
Tampa Bay scored five runs off Duffey in the third, including a three-run homer by Jake Bauers and a two-run shot by Rickie Weeks off Jorge to make it 13-0.