No comforts of home for Twins

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 10, 2012 - 5:45 AM

The Twins picked up where they left off after the Orioles swept them, and at 0-4 have matched their two worst starts.

Each of the first two home openers at Target Field ended with a capacity crowd on its feet and a thunderous roar as a pop fly settled into the glove of a Twins fielder — Michael Cuddyer in 2010 and Matt Tolbert in 2011 — securing victory on a 60-something-degree April afternoon.

The weather was about 20 degrees colder Monday, and so was the home team.

At 0-4, they’ve matched their worst start since the franchise moved to Minnesota in 1961. As history shows, they lost their first four games in 1969 before Harmon Killebrew, Tony Oliva and Rod Carew rallied them to the postseason. The Twins hope this doesn’t turn into 1981, when they started 0-4 and finished 27 games under .500, especially after last year’s

"It doesn’t have that feel," Twins pitcher Glen Perkins said. "I think we’ve got our guys here, and our guys are healthy. Where we were in August and September is a pretty dark place, and I don’t think we’re there, this year. I think it’ll click."

The Twins better hope it clicks soon. They looked awful last weekend, getting outscored 15-5 in a three-game sweep against the long-downtrodden Orioles. And after honoring their 2002 team in a stirring pregame ceremony, the Twins couldn’t even make it through a half-inning without deflating their fans again.

The Angels grabbed a 2-0, first-inning lead against Nick Blackburn, handing it to lefthander C.J. Wilson, their $77.5 million free agent acquisition. Before the game, Angels right fielder Torii Hunter explained why he’s glad to have Wilson on his side.

"I could have built a clubhouse with the bats he’s broken," Hunter said. "A clubhouse with a fireplace."

Sure enough, Wilson left plenty of splinters in head groundskeeper Larry DiVito’s perfectly manicured infield. Wilson went seven innings, inducing 14 ground outs and zero fly outs. He was effectively wild, giving up four walks but just three hits.

Leading off the fourth inning, Josh Willingham smashed a first-pitch changeup into the left-center field seats for his second home run as a Twin. But that was the only gift Wilson presented all day. Blackburn settled into his own groove, retiring 15 in a row at one point, but the Angels pulled away in the seventh.

Bobby Abreu walked, and then Alberto Callaspo hit a grounder up the middle. Shortstop Jamey Carroll dove, but the ball squirted off his glove for a single.

"I overplayed it," Carroll said. "I thought I was going to have to dive a little bit, and it ended up kind of slicing back to me. I should have made it. It ended up being a big play. I think we could have gotten a double play out of it."

Chris Iannetta followed with a two-run double on a long fly ball that fell between Willingham and Denard Span in left-center field. That finished Blackburn’s day, and two batters later, Aybar executed a perfect suicide squeeze bunt, making it 5-1.

That was plenty against a Twins offense that has scored just six runs in four games. They put at least one runner on base in eight of nine innings, but also hit into four double plays.

"You don’t ever want to start and put yourself in a big hole," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "It’s frustrating because we came out of spring training playing good and feeling good, and we haven’t played up to that."

Players will use Tuesday’s off day to get settled in the Twin Cities. They flew straight from Fort Myers, Fla., to Baltimore and didn’t arrive in Minnesota until Sunday night. They can unpack and try to clear their minds.

Yes, it’s only been four games and there are 158 to go, but there is plenty of urgency to win Wednesday night, even if the next pitcher is Jered Weaver, who tossed eight shutout innings against the Royals with 10 strikeouts on Opening Day.


    L.A. ANGELS 5, TWINS 1

    Up next: 7:10 p.m. Wednesday vs. L.A. Angels • TV: FSN (1500-AM)

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Denver 7:30 PM
Buffalo 12/28/14 12:00 PM
New England
Carolina 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Dallas 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Detroit 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Green Bay
Jacksonville 12/28/14 12:00 PM
San Diego 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
NY Jets 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Chicago 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia 12/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
New Orleans 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Oakland 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Arizona 12/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
St. Louis 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Cincinnati 12/28/14 7:30 PM
Denver 6:00 PM
Portland 7:00 PM
Utah 7:00 PM
Toronto 7:00 PM
Atlanta 7:30 PM
LA Clippers 7:30 PM
San Antonio
Sacramento 9:30 PM
Golden State
Ottawa 6:00 PM
Nashville 6:00 PM
Pittsburgh 6:30 PM
Arizona 9:00 PM
San Jose 9:00 PM
Calgary 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Ark-Little Rock 64 FINAL
Bradley 54
Brown 67 FINAL
Central Conn St 55
Stetson 59 FINAL
Florida State 63
Ill-Chicago 46 FINAL
Northwestern 63
Ohio 49 FINAL
George Washington 77
Southern Utah 61 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 70
Elon 67 FINAL
Kennesaw St 65
Dartmouth 49 FINAL
Penn State 69
Green Bay 70 FINAL
UC Irvine 72
DePaul 58 2nd Half 3:51
Colorado 76
Lewis & Clark 39 2nd Half 6:04
Portland 67
SC State 30 2nd Half
Abilene Christian 23
Manhattan 22 1st Half 5:56
Fordham 21
Truett-McConnell 16 1st Half 7:10
Ga Southern 27
Citadel 22 1st Half 6:49
Michigan State 23
Miami-Ohio 14 1st Half 5:43
Ohio State 34
Gardner-Webb 22 1st Half 7:17
Purdue 29
Idaho 18 1st Half 7:57
Northern Ky 20
Fairfield 6:00 PM
North Dakota St 6:00 PM
Alcorn State
UT Martin 6:00 PM
SE Louisiana 6:00 PM
Oakland 6:00 PM
Florida A&M 6:00 PM
East Carolina
Eastern Ky 6:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
IUPU-Ft Wayne 6:00 PM
Illinois State
Norfolk State 6:00 PM
James Madison
Binghamton 6:00 PM
Mount St Marys
Towson 6:00 PM
Long Island 6:00 PM
New Hampshire
Northern Ill 6:00 PM
Notre Dame
William & Mary 6:00 PM
Old Dominion
Liberty 6:00 PM
Delaware 6:00 PM
Robert Morris
MD-Eastern Shore 6:00 PM
St Bonaventure
Colgate 6:00 PM
Kansas 6:00 PM
Mercer 6:00 PM
East Tenn St 6:00 PM
VA Commonwealth
Va Military 6:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Bucknell 6:00 PM
Wake Forest
Alabama A&M 6:00 PM
Western Mich
New Orleans 6:05 PM
Columbia 6:30 PM
Long Beach State 6:30 PM
St Johns
Wofford 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Southern U 7:00 PM
UAB 7:00 PM
Char Southern 7:00 PM
Colorado State
North Florida 7:00 PM
NC Central 7:00 PM
Jackson State
Rice 7:00 PM
Central Mich 7:00 PM
McNeese State
Coppin State 7:00 PM
Furman 7:00 PM
SE Missouri St 7:00 PM
Ole Miss
Weber State 7:00 PM
Grambling St 7:00 PM
Loyola-Chicago 7:00 PM
Texas Tech
Incarnate Word 7:00 PM
Penn 7:00 PM
Chicago State 7:00 PM
SIU Edwardsville
Simpson 7:05 PM
Tenn Tech 7:05 PM
Murray State 7:05 PM
Southern Ill
Oral Roberts 7:05 PM
Missouri State
Jacksonville St 8:00 PM
Air Force
Milwaukee 8:00 PM
Wisconsin 8:00 PM
Coll of Charleston 8:00 PM
North Dakota 8:00 PM
Northern New Mexico 8:00 PM
New Mexico St
UC Santa Barbara 8:00 PM
Miami-Florida 8:00 PM
Northeastern 8:00 PM
St Marys-CA
Kent State 8:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
UC Davis 8:00 PM
Northern Colorado
Lewis-Clark State 8:05 PM
Eastern Wash
Walla Walla 8:05 PM
Portland State
TX A&M-CC 9:00 PM
Cal State Fullerton
Marshall 9:00 PM
Boise State 9:30 PM
UC Riverside 10:00 PM
San Diego St
Tulane 10:00 PM
Loyola Marymount 10:00 PM
Wichita State
Nebraska 12/23/14 12:00 AM
Memphis 55
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Illinois 12/26/14 12:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Rutgers 12/26/14 3:30 PM
North Carolina
NC State 12/26/14 7:00 PM
Cincinnati 12/27/14 12:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Duke 12/27/14 1:10 PM
(15) Arizona State
Miami-Florida 12/27/14 3:00 PM
So Carolina
Boston College 12/27/14 3:30 PM
Penn State
(25) Nebraska 12/27/14 7:00 PM
(24) USC
Texas A&M 12/29/14 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 12/29/14 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 12/29/14 8:00 PM
UMass Lowell 63 FINAL
Holy Cross 78
Temple 59 FINAL
Villanova 64
Georgia Southern 68 FINAL
Southern U 52
Xavier 60 FINAL
Kennesaw St 61
Eastern Michigan 52 FINAL
Michigan 81
Brescia 56 FINAL
Marshall 127
(21) West Virginia 54 FINAL
Ohio State 96
MD-Eastern Shore 78
Cornell 79 FINAL
Loyola-Maryland 61
St Bonaventure 70 FINAL
Georgetown 64
New Hampshire 63 FINAL
Northeastern 62
Eastern Washington 67 FINAL
Florida 56
Rice 63 FINAL
Texas Southern 69
Butler 72 FINAL
Illinois State 60
UC Davis 53 2nd Half 3:15
(16) Stanford 65
Washington St 73 2nd Half 5:49
Loyola Marymount 46
Sacramento St 65 2nd Half 11:21
San Jose St 68
SIU-Edwardsville 34 2nd Half
Oakland 6:00 PM
IUPU-Ft Wayne
Belmont 6:00 PM
(14) Georgia
George Mason 6:00 PM
Kansas 6:05 PM
Abilene Christian 7:00 PM
Kansas State
UT Martin 7:00 PM
Hampton 7:00 PM
Florida State 7:00 PM
Murray State 7:00 PM
Fla Gulf Coast 7:05 PM
Arkansas State
BYU 8:00 PM
Utah State


question of the day

Poll: Do you like the Twins' offseason moves so far?

Weekly Question





Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters