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Twins Insider

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

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

Twins postgame: GM Ryan on team's struggles: 'They are feeling it and so am I.'


There are three thoughts following the Twins loss to the Tigers

CRISIS TIME: Twins General Manager Terry Ryan made a point to be visible during batting practice on Saturday. This team is in another skid and needs to turn things around in a hurry. Ryan also wants to show that he's not hiding despite the team's struggles. ``We're going through a tough time,'' he said. ``Visibility. I didn't do anything other than I want to make sure I'm accountable. You can't go through the stretch we're going through and not feel it. I know they are feeling it and so am I. We're going through a bad time. That game (Friday) I'm sure it was ugly for the fans and ugly for a lot of us who have a lot of responsibility for this team.''

LINEUP CHANGES: The batting order isn't working right now, and Twins manager Paul Molitor might want to juggle some things around. Danny Santana looks like the Santana of 2014 and provides a boost at the top of the order. But until Brian Dozier gets going, Joe Mauer should slide in the No. 2 hole while Dozier drops down for a bit. Ultimately, the offense won't thrive unless Dozier is drawing walks and hitting homers. Dozier just doesn't look like the threat he was last season. He just missed hitting one out on Saturday, and it probably would have been a home run if not for the gusts coming in from left field. And Dozier is trying to use center field and right field more as teams swing their defenses around because he has pulled the ball a lot in the past. But his batting average is down to .191 after Saturday. Bat Sano third and try Dozier sixth or so until he gets going.

DUFFEY: Tyler Duffey gave up three runs, one earned, in the first inning on Saturday but pitched into the seventh inning while looking a lot like the pitcher who was called up last last season. Duffey got his curveball working and used it effectively, throwing it at different speeds, spiking it straight up and down or adding a little slurve to it. He also threw several changeups with positive results. Duffey could emerge as a factor once again as the Twins try to absorb injuries to Ervin Santana and Kyle Gibson and the demotion of Tommy Milone to the bullpen.