Twins Insider: Hitting, not pitching, continues to hurt Twins in loss to Tigers

In losing two of three to the Tigers, the Twins continued their light-hitting ways of recent weeks.

It was supposed to be the other way around.

Twins pitching was expected to be the shaky link on this squad. The Twins spent the offseason signing veteran groundball-inducing righthanders for the rotation and using the waiver wire and the Rule 5 draft to fill out the bullpen. It was justifiable to doubt this team’s chances just on their arms alone.

But that hasn’t been the problem. No starter is on the hot seat right now — that includes righthander Mike Pelfrey, who might be clearing some of the hurdles associated with recovering from Tommy John surgery. The bullpen is the most reliable part of this team.

Even without a bona fide leadoff hitter, the Twins offense was supposed to be productive. Not this hitless group.

We’ve debated the Twins pitching to contact. How about complaining about swinging to contact?

The Twins lost to Detroit 5-2 Sunday in a game in which they had no hits until Brian Dozier lead off the sixth inning with a home run. They had two hits and one run left in them after that in dropping two of three games to the Tigers.

Even with their six-run explosion Saturday, the Twins are averaging 2.6 runs over their past 12 games. Saturday’s victory over Detroit is the only game in that span where the Twins scored more than four runs.

“You look at the guys in the middle,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “We count on them to drive them in, but you have to have people on base.”

Twins leadoff hitters entered Sunday batting .175, which is horrid. But No. 5 hitters — a major run-producing spot in the order — were batting .214 with a .329 slugging percentage.

“If you look at our batting average overall, up and down, it is not where we need to be,” Gardenhire said. “And not from lack of work. Guys are working really hard to get it done, but it has to show up on the field and you have to do it consistently out on the field. And that’s one thing we haven’t been able to do.”

Sunday, the Twins were turned into mincemeat for five innings by Tigers righthander Doug Fister (6-4), who has been a tough-luck loser. The Tigers had lost his previous four starts by scores of 3-2, 1-0, 3-0 and 3-2. His slump-buster came Sunday, as he cut up both sides of the plate and used his big, looping curveball to keep the Twins off balance.

Ryan Doumit drew a walk in the fourth for the Twins’ first baserunner of the day, then Dozier homered in the sixth. Clete Thomas drove in the other Twins run with a single in the eighth.

The Twins were held to three hits for the third time in four games.

“You have to hit good pitching,” Gardenhire said. “[Fister] was good, kept us off balance all day. But you have to find ways to get hits. You have to find a way to score runs.”

Detroit got a pair of two-run homers Sunday off P.J. Walters (2-2). Torii Hunter hit one in the first inning — the 300th of his career — and Austin Jackson added one in the fourth. Hunter worked Josh Roenicke through a 12-pitch at-bat in the eighth before stroking a ground-rule double that scored the final run of the game.

The Twins aren’t getting any of that now. No first-inning leads, no grind-it-out at-bats, no clutch hitting. They have fallen to six games under .500 with 10 of their next 12 games against American League Central teams. After that, they step up to the AL East for 13 games heading into the All-Star break.

Will the offense snap to it by then? Joe Mauer is going to hit. Justin Morneau is hitting, just not for power. Josh Willingham is dealing with sore knee but does have 10 home runs. The Twins need other hitters — namely Dozier, Trevor Plouffe and Chris Parmelee — to heat up.

“I think it’s about big hits, two-out hits,” Dozier said. “We have been leaving guys on base. We have been facing some good arms, but that’s day in and day out up here. Timely hitting is kind of a main focus right now.”

  • related content

  • BOXSCORE: Detroit 5, Twins 2

    Sunday June 16, 2013

  • Postgame: Struggling offense, Torii and more Torii

    Sunday June 16, 2013

    The Twins dropped two of three to Detroit during the weekend series and need to figure out how to hit.

  • Photo gallery: Detroit 5, Twins 2

    Sunday June 16, 2013

    The Twins lost to the Detroit Tigers 5-2 at Target Field Sunday afternoon.

  • Video: Walters takes the blame for Twins loss

    Sunday June 16, 2013

    Twins righthander PJ Walters not pleased with himself after poor outing on Sunday during loss to Tigers

  • Ailing Willingham bothered by sore left knee

    Monday June 17, 2013

    Twins outfielder Josh Willingham, bothered for several weeks by a sore left knee, had a cortisone injection in the knee...

  • Twins-Detroit game recap

    Monday June 17, 2013

    GAME RECAPImpact playerDoug Fister, DetroitThe righthander took a no-hitter into the sixth inning and held the Twins to two runs...

  • Twins shortstop Pedro Florimon jumped over Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera to completes a double play during the fifth inning Sunday.

  • Twins outfielder Oswaldo Arcia watched as Torii Hunter’s two-run home run ball landed several rows back in left field in the first inning.

  • P.J. Walters gave up two two-run homers Sunday, a deficit too big for the Twins to overcome.

  • Detroit’s Torii Hunter teed off against his former team Sunday, hitting his 300th career home run as well as an RBI double. The Tigers took two out of three from the Twins, who again failed to hit in a timely manner.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions
Final123456789RHE
Minnesota000000000040
Detroit «00100002X340
@Ballpark Replay
Preview | Matchup | Lineup | Log | Wrap | Box
W:D.Price(15-12) L:K.Gibson(13-12) S:J.Nathan (35)
HR: MIN- None DET- I.Kinsler (17)

ADVERTISEMENT

Minnesota 16 FINAL
Buffalo 17
Atlanta 7 FINAL
Baltimore 29
Tennessee 17 FINAL
Washington 19
Seattle 26 FINAL
St. Louis 28
Cleveland 6 FINAL
Jacksonville 24
Cincinnati 0 FINAL
Indianapolis 27
Miami 27 FINAL
Chicago 14
New Orleans 23 FINAL
Detroit 24
Carolina 17 FINAL
Green Bay 38
Kansas City 23 FINAL
San Diego 20
Arizona 24 FINAL
Oakland 13
NY Giants 21 FINAL
Dallas 31
San Francisco 17 FINAL
Denver 42
Houston 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
San Diego 10/23/14 7:25 PM
Denver
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Boston 95 FINAL
Brooklyn 90
Minnesota 112 FINAL
Oklahoma City 94
Golden State 83 FINAL
Houston 90
Charlotte 96 FINAL
Chicago 101
Utah 91 FINAL
LA Lakers 98
Minnesota 1 FINAL
Los Angeles 2
San Jose 0 FINAL
NY Rangers 4
Calgary 4 FINAL
Winnipeg 1
St. Louis 0 FINAL
Anaheim 3
TX-San Antonio 20 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 27
Syracuse 30 FINAL
Wake Forest 7
Purdue 38 FINAL
Minnesota 39
Western Ky 38 FINAL
Fla Atlantic 45
(12) Baylor 27 FINAL
(22) West Virginia 41
(11) Kansas State 31 FINAL
(17) Oklahoma 30
Iowa 31 FINAL
Maryland 38
So Florida 38 FINAL
Tulsa 30
Tulane 13 FINAL
UCF 20
Virginia 13 FINAL
Duke 20
Akron 20 FINAL
Ohio U 23
Western Mich 26 FINAL
Bowling Green 14
Eastern Mich 14 FINAL
Massachusetts 36
Appalachian St 53 FINAL
Troy 14
(25) UCLA 36 FINAL
California 34
Texas A&M 0 FINAL
(4) Alabama 59
Army 17 FINAL
Kent State 39
Kansas 21 FINAL
Texas Tech 34
UAB 22 FINAL
Middle Tennessee 34
Rutgers 17 FINAL
(13) Ohio State 56
(8) Michigan State 56 FINAL
Indiana 17
New Mexico 31 FINAL
Air Force 35
NC State 18 FINAL
Louisville 30
(21) Clemson 17 FINAL
Boston College 13
Ball State 32 FINAL
Central Mich 29
Cincinnati 41 FINAL
SMU 3
(9) Georgia 45 FINAL
Arkansas 32
Oklahoma State 9 FINAL
(10) TCU 42
San Jose St 27 FINAL
Wyoming 20
Miami-Ohio 41 FINAL
Northern Ill 51
New Mexico St 17 FINAL
Idaho 29
Colorado 28 FINAL
(20) USC 56
(23) Marshall 45 FINAL
FIU 13
Southern Miss 30 FINAL
North Texas 20
Georgia Tech 43 FINAL
North Carolina 48
Tennessee 3 FINAL
(3) Ole Miss 34
Utah State 13 FINAL
Colorado State 16
Missouri 42 FINAL
Florida 13
Kentucky 3 FINAL
(24) LSU 41
(16) Nebraska 38 FINAL
Northwestern 17
Georgia State 27 FINAL
South Alabama 30
Washington 20 FINAL
(6) Oregon 45
Iowa State 45 FINAL
Texas 48
(7) Notre Dame 27 FINAL
(2) Florida State 31
Nevada 42 FINAL
BYU 35
Stanford 10 FINAL
(14) Arizona State 26
Hawaii 10 FINAL
San Diego St 20
Arkansas State 10/21/14 7:00 PM
Louisiana
Connecticut 10/23/14 6:00 PM
(18) East Carolina
Miami-Florida 10/23/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
So Florida 10/24/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Troy 10/24/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 10/24/14 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 10/24/14 9:00 PM
California
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rice
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Arkansas
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Wisconsin
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
SMU
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
Virginia
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Navy
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Toledo
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Stanford
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
UCF
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
Tennessee
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Hawaii
Columbus 3 FINAL
Red Bull New York 1
Seattle 2 FINAL
Los Angeles 2
Ottawa 6 FINAL
Hamilton 16
Montreal 20 FINAL
Toronto 12
Calgary 33 FINAL
Winnipeg 23
Edmonton 24 FINAL
Saskatchewan 19
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How confident are you the Twins will improve in 2015?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close