The Twins dropped to 0-2 on their road trip, getting shut out for the ninth time in 2007. This time they were outclassed by righthander Dustin McGowan.
TORONTO Twins catcher Mike Redmond was looking for a 2007 slogan to splash on T-shirts for his teammates.
Center fielder Torii Hunter might have one that precisely describes this year's squad.
"Can't get right," Hunter said after the Twins' 7-0 smackdown by the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday night. "That's the name of this team right now."
The Twins swept Oakland two weeks ago but then were swept by Detroit. They took two of three against the Angels over the weekend but need to win today to escape with one of three games against the Blue Jays.
The inconsistency has nearly ruined this club's chances of reaching the postseason. The Twins blew an opportunity Tuesday to gain ground on both Cleveland, which lost to Boston, and Detroit, which lost a doubleheader to the White Sox.
"The great thing about the game of baseball is that you don't have to wait long to play again," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "You can look at it two ways. You can come back in and feel down and depressed. Or you can feel like a professional and play the game.
"I choose to come back here tomorrow and try to figure out a way to win a baseball game. I hope the rest of the guys in the clubhouse do the same. I'm pretty sure they will."
Twins righthander Scott Baker (4-4) was easily outclassed by hard-throwing righthander Dustin McGowan (7-5), who hit 96 miles per hour on the gun while shutting out the Twins on four hits over 7 1/3 innings.
The Twins never had a runner in scoring position against McGowan. Their one chance to score blew up in the fourth when, with Hunter on first, White doubled off the center field wall. Vernon Wells played the ball perfectly and fired back to the infield as Hunter was held at third. The throw got past the cutoff men so Hunter tried to score.
"It seemed like Lyle Overbay came out of nowhere and picked up the ball," Hunter said. "I was in no-man's land."
Hunter tried to barrel his way home but was tagged out by Gregg Zaun. The Twins didn't get another runner to third until the ninth.
They looked overmatched at the plate and shaky in the field. Aaron Hill doubled to left in third on a ball that could have been caught by Jason Kubel, and he eventually scored. Hunter lost a fly ball in the twilight in the seventh, allowing Hill to reach second and score on John McDonald's single to make it 4-0. The Blue Jays scored three runs in the eighth off Pat Neshek.
The Twins looked as playoff unworthy as they have all season while getting shut out for the ninth time.
"I think we'd be lying if we didn't take a little more caution," Baker said, "[but] I don't think we feel like things are slipping away. We ran into a guy who is throwing the ball really well."
Hunter, dusting off an approach he tried in June in Oakland, began screaming uncontrollably in the clubhouse lounge after the game, a humorous attempt to blow off some steam. Soon he had some teammates join him.
"I told all the guys they should try it," Hunter said. "It felt pretty good."
A few more losses and it might not be for levity.
|Cincinnati - WP: J. Cueto||4||FINAL|
|Pittsburgh - LP: E. Volquez||1|
|LA Angels - WP: T. Skaggs||7||FINAL|
|Washington - LP: T. Jordan||2|
|Kansas City - WP: J. Shields||8||FINAL|
|Cleveland - LP: D. Salazar||2|
|Baltimore - LP: E. Meek||3||FINAL|
|Toronto - WP: S. Delabar||9|
|Chicago WSox - LP: C. Leesman||6||FINAL|
|Detroit - WP: J. Verlander||8|
|St. Louis - WP: A. Wainwright||3||FINAL|
|NY Mets - LP: D. Gee||0|
|Miami - WP: J. Fernandez||1||FINAL|
|Atlanta - LP: A. Wood||0|
|Minnesota - LP: K. Gibson||3||FINAL|
|Tampa Bay - WP: D. Price||7|
|NY Yankees - WP: M. Tanaka||9||FINAL|
|Boston - LP: J. Lester||3|
|Arizona - LP: B. McCarthy||2||FINAL|
|Chicago Cubs - WP: J. Hammel||9|
|San Diego - WP: D. Roach||2||FINAL|
|Milwaukee - LP: A. Figaro||1|
|San Francisco - LP: M. Bumgarner||1||FINAL|
|Colorado - WP: F. Morales||2|
|Texas - WP: A. Ogando||5||FINAL|
|Oakland - LP: L. Gregerson||4|
|Houston - WP: C. McHugh||5||FINAL|
|Seattle - LP: E. Ramirez||2|
|Philadelphia - WP: A. Bastardo||3||FINAL|
|Los Angeles - LP: J. Howell||2|