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Twins Insider

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

Postgame: It's called May Day, appropriate for the Twins' season

    A couple of extras from another disappointing day for the Twins:

    A message board at the entrance to the Twins’ clubhouse had an optimistic message on Sunday.

    “New dawn, new day, new month. Let’s go!” it read.

    Nice sentiment. As it turns out, May Day was more mayday for the Twins.

    The Twins’ 6-5 loss on Sunday, a game full of missed chances and squandered opportunities, was one of the more painful losses thus far. And now the Twins go on the road, where they’re losing at a historic rate.

    Minnesota is 1-10 on the road, its worst start in franchise history, and the worst by any American League team since Kansas City opened the 2006 season 0-12 away from home. Making matters worse: Now the Twins head to Houston, where they face Cy Young winner Dallas Keuchel — who is 17-0 at home since August 2014 — on Monday. 

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    The new month hasn’t changed Joe Mauer. Already off to one of the best starts of his career, Mauer collected two singles and a double on Sunday, and the double fell about 2 inches short of being a home run. Its bounce off the top of the padding in left field was so close, the umpires checked it on video to make certain it hadn’t gone out.

    The two singles give Mauer 22 on the season, just one short of Ian Kinsler’s 23 for the AL lead. And Mauer now has reached base 51 times, six ahead of Houston’s Jose Altuve for the AL lead. One big difference: each of the top five leaders in reaching base has scored at least 17 runs this season. Mauer, surrounded by an anemic Twins offense, reached 10 runs scored on Sunday.

    How anemic is that offense? The Twins’ 80 runs score in April were their fewest since 1981 (not counting the strike-delayed 1995 season), and their 3.3 runs-per-game average is the fourth-worst in franchise history.

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    As the game ended, Molitor was out on the field conferring with the umpires about Miguel Sano’s ball into the corner, which turned into a double — and the final out. Nothing controversial, the manager said — he just can’t see the corner from the dugout.

    “I just wanted to make sure the ball came back out on the field cleanly without hitting a part of the field that was out of play,” he said.

Tigers haven't scored a run for Pelfrey all year; Twins hope to extend streak

    Don’t make dinner reservations, Paul Molitor was saying before today’s game. Mike Pelfrey is on the mound.

    “He’s very deliberate out there,” the Twins manager said of Pelfrey, whose three-year stint with the Twins included some long innings. Pelfrey had an 11-27 record and 4.94 ERA with the Twins, so by the time he left as a free agent last winter, fans had grown impatient with the righthander.

    It hasn’t been much better in Detroit, where he signed a $16 million contract for two seasons, but there’s a catch: The Tigers aren’t supporting him. At all.

    Pelfrey is 0-4 this season, and his 4.64 ERA isn’t as good as the Tigers hoped. But Detroit has not scored a single run while Pelfrey is in the game, being shut out in all 22 innings he has appeared in.

    The Twins would like to extend that amazing streak, and for that, they’re counting on another free-agent signee who hasn’t had the success he expected. Ricky Nolasco has been a pleasant surprise this season, walking just three while striking out 24 so far, great numbers to go with his 3.25 ERA. With the Twins about to embark on a weeklong road trip — and with rookies Jose Berrios and Alex Meyer, who have one big-league start between them, on the mound the next two days — getting a strong start from Nolasco to break the three-game losing streak would be helpful.

    It’s a sunny but chilly day at Target Field. Here are today’s starting lineups, with Miguel Sano returning to third base once again:

TIGERS

 

Kinsler 2B

J.D. Martinez RF

Cabrera 1B

V. Martinez DH

Upton LF

Castellanos 3B

Saltalamacchia C

Gose CF

Iglesias SS

 

Pelfrey RHP

 

TWINS

 

Santana CF

Dozier 2B

Mauer 1B

Sano 3B

Park DH

Arcia RF

Escobar SS

Suzuki C

Rosario LF

 

Nolasco RHP