MILWAUKEE - Twins manager Ron Gardenhire and the coaches met with the players Friday, after which the players held their own meeting to try to ease any tension after a poor start.
Even though they lost 6-5 to Milwaukee on Sunday, the Twins did win the three-game series and said they feel they are on the right path to turning things around.
"We scored some runs, so that's a positive sign," Twins outfielder Michael Cuddyer said. "I think this could spark us the rest of the season."
The Twins scored 18 runs in the three games, a significant improvement for them. Despite Sunday's loss, they are 15-5 when scoring at least four runs.
A decision was made during the players' meeting for everyone to get their hair cut as short as possible. It coincided with both teams honoring the armed forces Saturday.
A few Twins, including Nick Punto and Jason Tyner, resisted as long as they could before going along. One unnamed Twin actually text messaged his wife over the weekend to warn her that she was going to see less of her man.
What Gardenhire liked was that his team looked relaxed.
"They made a concerted effort to come out here and relax a little bit," Gardenhire said. "We had a nice little meeting and then they went and had a players' meeting. Our meeting, we came out with staying positive, rooting for each other, all those things we talk about here. No bickering. No pointing out where we are playing guys.
"Their meeting, they came out with honoring the armed forces and haircuts."
Ortiz loses lead
Righthander Ramon Ortiz has a 11.76 ERA over his past four starts and was upset he didn't hold a 4-0 lead Sunday.
"The team picked me up," Ortiz said. "Nothing worked for me."
As was the case last week in Cleveland, the Twins want Ortiz to better establish his fastball.
"A lot of breaking balls," Gardenhire said. "Got to use that sinker more and make quality pitches."
Nick Punto, who was 2-for-5 Sunday, has nine multi-hit games. But it was his failed bunt in the sixth inning on a suicide squeeze play that could have regained the lead for the Twins.
Luis Rodriguez took off from third as Punto tried to lay down a 2-1 pitch from Carlos Villanueva. If Punto had executed a decent bunt, Rodriguez would have scored to put the Twins up 6-5, but Punto fouled off the pitch.
With two strikes, Punto had to swing away and flied out to shallow left -- too shallow to score Rodriguez, who isn't blessed with speed.
|Texas - WP: S. Tolleson||16||FINAL|
|Miami||2||Bottom 7th Inning|
|Los Angeles||2||Bottom 3rd Inning|
|Calgary||0||2nd Prd 14:13|
|Anaheim||1||1st Prd 3:48|
|San Diego St||58|
|Sam Houston St||49||FINAL|
|Stephen F Austin||68|
|New Mexico St||39|
|Cal Poly||17||1st Half 5:37|
|Red Bull New York||1|
|Sporting Kansas City||1|
|Real Salt Lake||1||1st Half 15:00|
|Fla Gulf Coast||64|
|Coll of Charleston||52||FINAL|
|Stephen F Austin||80|
|(22) Middle Tennessee||84|
|Fresno State||30||2nd Half 19:44|