Phil Miller covered three seasons of Twins baseball, but that was at a different ballpark for a different newspaper. Now Miller returns to the baseball beat after joining the Star Tribune as the Gopher football writer in 2010, and he won't miss the dingy dome for a minute. In addition to the Twins and Gophers, Miller covered the Utah Jazz and the NBA for six years at The Salt Lake Tribune.

Early innings challenging the Twins; sellout streak in jeopardy

Posted by: Phil Miller under Twins offense Updated: April 11, 2011 - 2:21 PM

The Twins were fast starters last year, leading the major leagues with 132 first-inning runs.

This year, they've played nine games and haven’t scored a run in the first or second inning. They've been outscored 15-1 over the first three innings, combined.

“We’re not really picking up much momentum to start the game; I think that’s big,” outfielder Michael Cuddyer said. “Once you see us go out and get a first-inning run or a couple, or a second-inning run, hopefully that’ll be the momentum that we need and kind of snowball us into a hot streak.”

Cuddyer added, “Maybe we’re going to have to make that happen.”

Twins hitters have combined to go 11-for-91 over the first three innings with six walks and 22 strikeouts. They have two stolen bases for the season and none before the fourth inning.

These are among the early season trends that need to change.

Sellout streak

The Twins have 81 consecutive sellouts at Target Field, but they announced Monday that several tickets are available for this week's series against Kansas City and other home games throughout April.

“There’s a common misperception that Twins tickets are sold out for the 2011 season, but the truth is we do have good seats remaining for many games,” Paul Froehle, the Twins senior director of ticket operations, said in a press release. “With tomorrow night’s forecasted weather, it is shaping up to be a beautiful evening of baseball here at Target Field.

"We’re encouraging fans to come down and enjoy it at the newest and best ballpark in Major League Baseball. Furthermore, we’re still encouraging fans to check back often throughout the 2011 season as seats may open up for many games.”

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