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Twins Insider

La Velle E. Neal III and Phil Miller report on the Twins from wherever they make news

Postgame: Thoughts on Meyer, Rosario, Santana and Hunter

Here are three thoughts following the Twins' 11-7 loss to Cincinnati on Monday:

MEYER'S SECOND OUTING: I'm intrigued by Alex Meyer's arrival because it's going to dictate the Twins' approach to shopping at the trade deadline. If he can thrive as a reliever, that's one less player they will need to stay in this race. If he doesn't, then they might need to find TWO relievers (because they probably will look for lefthanded relief help). Meyer officially gave up one earned run in an inning of work. But he gave up a hit, walked two and allowed inherited runners to score. After initial struggles, he began to throw more fastballs, which is dangerous. I'm sure the Twins are asking him remain calm so he can stay mechanically sound, but sometimes that takes a few outings for a rookie. "I think he's learning,'' Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "He's probably trying to overthrow just a little bit. Command, we know he's going to walk some people [and] he is going to strike some people out. The breaking ball, he was kind of getting his body out in front and not getting it down where he needed to. Made him go to the fastball a little more. He's learning.''

ROSARIO IS A HITTER: Eddie Rosario had two money at-bats on Monday. He singled to center after about eight pitches during the Twins' six-run fourth. In the fifth, he finished off a 10-pitch at-bat by drawing a walk. He was locked in and fouled off some tough pitches to stay alive. The kid is a hitter. "He had a couple of knocks,'' Brian Dozier said, "but the most impressive one was the walk that he drew. He was spitting on some really good pitches. People don't realize the guy [Reds reliever Nate Adcock] has a really good slider and a lot of sink at 94-95. He's spitting on pitches right off the plate. I was telling Mollie that's a big-league at-bat.''

BUNTING DECISIONS: The Twins tried a couple of bunts in an attempt to get runners on base later in the game. Molitor praised Danny Santana in the sixth when he tried to bunt for a hit but ended up sacrificing Shane Robinson to second. "We haven't bunted for hits very well,'' Molitor said. "We've talked bout it. We would like to take advantage of it when we can. Santana, the timing of that bunt was good. [Had] the leadoff man on, they have real good bunting grass here. The ball just dies out there; you just have to have a little bit better direction. "We're just trying to get these guys to understand that getting a good bunt down is better than trying to get out there too fast. I think he does that sometimes.'' Torii Hunter tried to get something started in the seventh, but bunted in front of the mound and was thrown out. Molitor understood what Hunter was trying to do. I disagreed with the bunt. There's a lefty on the mound. Hunter is swinging the bat well. Swing the bat.


Twins need to get their bats going against Reds

It rained when I landed this morning but it has since stopped, the sun is out and it's getting a little muggy.

The problem is that more rain is expected this evening, which could affect tonight's game. I'm starting to become more optimistic that we'll get this one in because the new forecast isn't as troubling as it was this morning.

Joe Mauer is batting second in the order for just the fourth time this season, as manager Paul Molitor tries to figure out how to free the offense. Torii Hunter, who is 4-for-12 with three homers on the road trip, is in the No. 3 hole tonight. Strange stat: Hunter is batting .350 in wins and .159 in losses.

``We're putting pressure on our pitching staff by not having many days where we give them much to work with early and kind of have to grind out games.'' Molitor said. ``If that's the way your team turns out, then you have to deal with what you have.
``Right now we are having trouble scoring runs . We have had a couple games where we have done some damage but, overall, it's been a little bit of a scuffle.''

Twins pitchers have walked the fewest batters in the American League. Twins starters have a 2.53 ERA over their last 11 outings - and that includes the blowup Trevor May had on Saturday.

If the offense pulls its weight, this team could take off. And the front office should be on the lookout for a bat. Heck, they might have one in Chattanooga.

There is one bad matchup category for the Twins in this series. The Reds lead the majors with 75 stolen bases.


Brian Dozier, 2B
Joe Mauer, 1B
Torii Hunter, RF
Trevor Plouffe, 3B
Eddie Rosario, CF
Kurt Suzuki, C
Eduardo Escobar, LF
Mike Pelfrey, RHP
Danny Santana, SS


Billy Hamilton, CF
Ivan De Jesus, 2B
Joey Votto, 1B
Todd Frazier, 3B
Jay Bruce, RF
Marlon Byrd, LF
Tucker Barnhart, C
Eugenio Suarez, SS
Mike Leake, RHP

6:10 PM (FSN)
Minnesota 40-36
Cincinnati 35-40

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