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Twins Insider

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

Duffey on the mound as Twins try to bounce back

The Twins missed an opportunity to take advantage of a young pitcher on Friday. Will they be up the task against a veteran in the middle of a nice roll?

Nationals righthander Jordan Zimmerman just had a 24.1 scoreless inning streak snapped on Monday, but he has been everything the Tigers wanted when they signed him as a free agent during the offseason. He's given up one earned run for a 0.35 ERA this year.

If the Twins are going to climb back to relevancy, they will need to beat pitchers like Zimmerman. Twins righthander Tyler Duffey will have to pitch like he did in September. The offense, 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position last night, must cash in on scoring opportunities. 

Keep this in mind. The Twins are 7-16. If they play 70-69 ball the rest of the way, they will finish 77-85. For them to get back to around .500, they have to win series and sweep when they can. Games like today, the day after losing the previous night, are important in that regard.

Ian Kinsler, 2B
J.D. Martinez, RF
Miguel Cabrera, 1B
Victor Martinez, DH
Justin Upton, LF
Nick Castellanos, 3B
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
Anthony Cox, CF
Jose Iglesisas, SS

Jordan Zimmerman, RHP

Twins

Danny Santana, CF
Brian Dozier, 2B
Joe Mauer, DH
Miguel Sano,. RF
Byung Ho Park, 1B
Eduardo Escobar, SS
Eduardo Nunez, 3B
Eddie Rosario, LF
John Ryan Murphy, C

Tyler Duffey, RHP

Postgame: Twins came out flat Friday, and never recovered

Here are three thoughts following the Twins' loss to Detroit

THE CLUNKER: The clubhouse was quieter than usual after a loss. The Twins have been in the majority of their games this season. There was the 7-0 loss at Kansas City that was bad. Maybe the 10-5 loss in Milwaukee. The Twins seemed to come out a little flat on Friday. Sometimes the opposing pitcher can affect a mood like that. And the fly ball that fell in between Danny Santana and Oswaldo Arcia capped the evening. Molitor hadn't spoke to the players involved, but guess that Santana saw Arcia out of the corner of his eye and he backed off. Phi; Hughes needs to step up and lead the rotation now it's him, Ricky Nolasco and three pitchers with less than three months experience - combined - in the majors. Friday's struggles came at the wrong time.

SANO'S CATCH: Miguel Sano dived his left to steal a double from Miguel Cabrera in the seventh inning on Friday. ``It was probably the best play he's made here in the first month,'' Molitor said. ``I told him you can have fun playing the outfield too. That was a nice play.'' Everything Sano does in right field is scrutinized - especially by the Twins cognoscenti who believe his career is being ruined by playing there. But it was an example that he can make a play out there. ``I try to make every play in the outfield, like at third base too,'' Sano said. ``And I try to play hard every day.''

ANOTHER DEBUT: The Twins have Jose Berrios. The Tigers have Michael Fulmer. Both pitchers have good fastballs, but Fulmer's fired several at 96 mph on Friday, a few at 97 and one at 98. He has pretty good movement on that pitch as well. He's going to be tough to beat as he gains experience. He won't be able to dominate with his fastball the way he did on Friday. He will have to learn how to mix in his other pitches. With Berrios, I saw a live arm with good movement too. And he was able to throw breaking balls for strikes. But he missed his spot a lot and left more pitches up than he should. As he gains experience and gets more comfortable his command should improve.