Three spare parts from a depressing day for the Twins:
— Molitor said the Twins’ five-game losing streak might be a reflection of their age and experience, a contract with the Angels. Torii Hunter had three hits and a walk in the two games — “You could sense the energy there,” Molitor said; “He was able to execute again for us.” — but no other Twin had more than two.
“It would be nice to salvage one [tomorrow] from an Angels team that is playing very well,” Molitor said. “I think their experience has shown up here these last three games, and maybe our lack of it has shown up as well. So it would be really nice to head into the off day with a win.”
— The Twins took a 5-0 lead in the first inning of this series, but allowed six in the second inning and haven’t let since. They nearly scored first in Saturday’s second game, but Torii Hunter was thrown out at the plate on a ground ball that pitcher Garrett Richards snagged. The contact play was on, Twins manager Paul Molitor said, with Hunter instructed to sprint home as soon as the ball was hit on the ground.
“They’re pretty much spotting us a run, except the ball [was hit] back up the middle,” Molitor said. Could Hunter have waited till the ball was past the pitcher’s mound? Molitor said he understood why he didn’t.
“You might try to be a little more patient, but if you’re going to try to get a good jump, especially with their third baseman halfway, you have to anticipate,” he said.
— Trevor Plouffe and Miguel Sano each homered for the Twins, but Minnesota has been outhomered, 6-4, in three games. Mike Trout has hit three home runs, and Chris Iannetta has two. The veteran catcher has hit 10 home runs this season, four of them against Twins pitching.
Sano’s blast was a howitzer, a shot estimated at more than 450 feet into the upper deck in left-center. It gave him 17 homers on the season, just one behind Houston’s Carlos Correa for most by a rookie in the AL this year. Sano is also halfway to Jimmy Hall’s franchise record of 33 home runs by a rookie, set in 1963. Hall played in 154 games that year; Saturday was Sano’s 66th.
“Miggy picked us up a little bit. I think he hit that one pretty good,” Molitor deadpanned.
Plouffe’s didn’t travel quite as far, but it was memorable, too, giving him 21 on the season and a career-high 81 RBIs.
“He seems to be having at least a couple of at-bats a day where he’s been doing what he needs to be successful,” Molitor said. “He took advantage of a high cutter [off Garrett Richards] today and hit the homer. He’s had a really nice, solid offensive year.”