Tense times for Twins as losing streak reaches six

They could do nothing against Mark Buehrle, and Ron Gardenhire pleaded for his players to lighten up.

view larger photos



– Aaron Hicks flipped his bat to the ground. Trevor Plouffe slammed his helmet. Justin Morneau just shook his head.

Signs of frustration were up and down the Twins batting order Friday night while they made outs against lefthander Mark Buehrle. Again.

And Ron Gardenhire is sick of it. After the Twins lost 4-0 to the Toronto Blue Jays — their sixth loss in a row — the manager told his team to lighten up a little.

“I told the boys it is baseball,” Gardenhire said. “We’re making it like a job right now. It’s got to be baseball. That’s the message to the team tonight.

“These guys are working their tails off. They go out there and do everything they can, and the games have just not been clicking for us. We have to get back to relaxing and have some guys smile. There’s too much tension.”

Asked how does a team relax, Gardenhire fired back that he would kick players in the rear if they weren’t smiling, adding: “These are grown men in uniforms, running around a baseball field, and now we have all the pressure in the world on us, like the sky is falling. The sky is not falling. There’s people out there in a little more trouble that we are into.”

Plouffe went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. He threw his helmet to the ground after striking out on a Buehrle fastball clocked at 85 miles per hour to end the top of the sixth inning.

“It’s true. There’s nothing wrong with what we are doing,” Plouffe said. “We’re going out there and playing hard. We’re preparing the right way. We’re giving a great effort. When something doesn’t go our way, say we don’t knock a guy in from second base, it’s OK. You can’t let that deflate what we are trying to do.”

The opposing pitcher can affect a team’s mood, and Friday was certainly not the first time Twins hitters walked back to the dugout muttering to themselves after facing Buehrle. The former White Sox lefthander improved to 28-19 in 52 career appearances against the Twins.

With seven shutout innings, Buehrle (5-5) has now thrown 35⅔ consecutive innings against the Twins without giving up an earned run. He didn’t give up any runs in his final three starts against the Twins in 2011, his final season with the White Sox. He scattered six hits with no walks and struck out five.

Brian Dozier beat out an infield hit to begin the game. Two batters later, Ryan Doumit singled to right and took second on the throw to third. But Justin Morneau struck out looking and Plouffe struck out swinging. End of inning. It was their best scoring chance of the game.

“Things like that, when we don’t get one in and the air goes out of your tires,” Gardenhire said of the inning. “You can’t play like that. You have to keep grinding. You have to keep going at them.”

The Twins were 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position. Meanwhile, Toronto took a 1-0 lead in the third when Jose Bautista hammered a hanging breaking ball from Kevin Correia over the center field wall. The Blue Jays added three more off Correia (6-6) in the fourth, two on a double by Jose Reyes.

Gardenhire and Twins players talked as music blasted from a sound system. Music is usually played after victories, but these Twins are searching for anything to stop their slide.

“The first instinct when things aren’t going good is to tighten up and try to force things, and that’s not a good way to play baseball,” Correia said. “We want to stay loose and have a good time. That’s when you usually play your best.”

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Team Irvin 32 FINAL
Team Carter 28
Miami 96 FINAL
Chicago 84
Oklahoma City 98 FINAL
Cleveland 108
Dallas 106 FINAL
New Orleans 109
Indiana 106 FINAL
Orlando 99
LA Clippers 120 FINAL
Phoenix 100
Minnesota 100 FINAL
Atlanta 112
Detroit 110 FINAL
Toronto 114
Milwaukee 95 FINAL
San Antonio 101
Boston 111 FINAL
Golden State 114
Washington 117 FINAL
Denver 115
Houston 89 4th Qtr 7:54
LA Lakers 70
Team Toews 17 FINAL
Team Foligno 12
South Florida 53 FINAL
Connecticut 66
Boston College 64 FINAL
Georgia Tech 62
Virginia 50 FINAL
Virginia Tech 47
Indiana 70 FINAL
Ohio State 82
Stony Brook 61 FINAL
Binghamton 54
Cincinnati 56 FINAL
UCF 46
Maine 70 FINAL
Hartford 61
Monmouth 64 FINAL
Manhattan 71
Fairfield 67 FINAL
Marist 73
Rowan 48 FINAL
Princeton 96
St Bonaventure 48 FINAL
Rhode Island 53
Duke 77 FINAL
St Johns 68
Saint Peters 69 FINAL
Siena 55
Drake 40 FINAL
Wichita State 74
Vermont 61 FINAL
UMass Lowell 50
Seton Hall 57 FINAL
Butler 77
South Alabama 55
Northern Iowa 54 FINAL
Illinois State 53
Louisville 80 FINAL
Pittsburgh 68
Albany 69
Niagara 64 FINAL
Iona 87
Notre Dame 81 FINAL
NC State 78
Belmont 63 FINAL
Tennessee St 55
Creighton 50 FINAL
Villanova 71
Northwestern 67 FINAL
Maryland 68
Washington 56 FINAL
Utah 77
Senior-North 34 FINAL
Senior-South 13
Seton Hall 99 FINAL
Georgetown 85
St Johns 69 FINAL
Villanova 81
Arkansas 58 FINAL
Florida 72
Maine 56 FINAL
Vanderbilt 55 FINAL
Alabama 52
Lafayette 60 FINAL
Lehigh 65
SMU 57
Utah 51 FINAL
Washington 63
James Madison 73 FINAL
Coll of Charleston 53
Delaware 56 FINAL
Drexel 61
Hofstra 56 FINAL
William & Mary 57
Hartford 58 FINAL
Albany 82
Binghamton 54 FINAL
Stony Brook 67
Towson 63 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 71
Wake Forest 80 FINAL
(17) Florida State 110
Georgia Tech 68 FINAL
Virginia 62
(22) Georgia 51 FINAL
(5) Tennessee 59
Drake 79 FINAL
Evansville 62
Iona 80 FINAL
Canisius 62
Fairfield 33 FINAL
Monmouth 59
Northwestern 75 FINAL
Penn State 76
Wisconsin 71 FINAL
Michigan State 77
Ohio State 79 FINAL
Purdue 71
Northern Iowa 57 FINAL
Indiana State 55
Butler 58 FINAL
Xavier 54
Creighton 93 FINAL
Marquette 75
Providence 42 FINAL
DePaul 90
Northeastern 77 FINAL
Elon 80
(2) Connecticut 96 FINAL
Cincinnati 31
Oregon 78 FINAL
Arizona 81
Bradley 46 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 45
NC State 49 FINAL
(23) Syracuse 66
(7) Maryland 84 FINAL
Indiana 74
Illinois State 35 FINAL
Missouri State 58
Colorado 68 FINAL
Washington St 73
Tulane 45 FINAL
South Florida 64
(14) Kentucky 83 FINAL
Missouri 69
(9) Oregon State 68 FINAL
(13) Arizona State 57
Vermont 63 FINAL
UMass Lowell 72
Iowa State 58 FINAL
(8) Texas 57
Southern Ill 61 FINAL
Wichita State 80
(15) Duke 74 FINAL
(12) North Carolina 67
Miami-Florida 55 FINAL
(4) Louisville 68
(21) Minnesota 61 FINAL
(25) Rutgers 66
California 72 FINAL
(11) Stanford 71 FINAL
USC 60
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: How optimistic are you about the 2015 Twins?

Weekly Question