Twins End Worst Month Since 1999

Hunter snapped an 0-17 slide on Sunday.

In this edition of Twins' Inside Pitch, the Twins end their worst overall month since 1999, Torii Hunter snaps an 0-17 skid, Joe Mauer moves to cleanup, the Twins get outscored 33-1 in their worst three-game set in 25 years, and much more.

The worst three-game series in 25 years for the Twins said even more than the obvious fact that Detroit looks a lot better than even the most optimistic Tigers fans thought entering the season.

It was underscored in combined 33-to-1 run fashion that the rest of the American League Central Division has not only caught up to the Twins, but also stormed past them.

The three-game sweep at Detroit over the weekend -- in which the Twins scored only one run in a three-gamer for the first time since 1981 in Detroit -- sent the Twins to a 2-10 record against AL Central opponents.

They've played all four opponents in one series each, and been swept by Cleveland (outscored 17-8), Chicago (23-6) and Detroit (33-1), being outscored 73-15 in those three series combined.

Their only wins against Central opponents were 2-1 and 7-3 victories at Kansas City -- their only wins on their just-concluded nine-game road trip.

"This is only the first month of the year here and we have a long ways to go, but we definitely have a lot of work to do," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We have to pitch better; we have to hit better, and catch the ball better -- the whole package. That's why there can't be anybody pointing fingers in here, because it's a total package. We need an effort by the whole team to get better."

REPLAY: The Twins managed only two hits against former Twins starter Kenny Rogers and former Twins reliever Todd Jones in a 6-0 loss at Detroit Sunday that sent them home with a 2-7 road trip that included getting swept at Chicago and Detroit.

The Twins were outscored 33-1 by the Tigers in the most lopsided three-game series for the team in at least 25 years as they fell to 3-12 on the road this season.

NOTES, QUOTES:

  • CF Torii Hunter snapped a 0-for-17 streak with a second-inning single Sunday. It was one of only two hits for the Twins on Sunday.

  • C Joe Mauer batted cleanup for the first time this season Sunday as manager Ron Gardenhire tried to squeeze some production out of his slumping lineup. Mauer, who went 8-for-22 (.364) with one RBI as a cleanup hitter last year, went 0-for-2 plus a walk as the Twins were 2-hit by Detroit LHP Kenny Rogers and RHP Todd Jones.

  • The Twins' 9-15 April was their worst opening month since they went 9-16 in April 1994 and their worst month overall since a 7-21 September in 1999.

  • CF Torii Hunter on the Twins' being outscored 33-1 in a three-game sweep at Detroit over the weekend: "My whole career I've never been whupped like this before. In eight years in the big leagues, I've never been defeated like this -- even in the minor leagues, I don't think."

  • In response to their bullpen being overworked with because of recent lousy starting pitching, the Twins went to a 12-man pitching staff on Sunday, recalling LHP Dennys Reyes from Triple-A Rochester. Reyes, who had been sent to Rochester from spring training to work on his slide step, made his Twins debut in Sunday's 6-0 loss, turning in the team's best pitching performance of an otherwise forgetful weekend: 2 1/3 shutout innings, allowing just one hit and striking out one.

  • OF Ruben Sierra was placed on the disabled list Sunday after leaving Saturday's game because of a strained left biceps, the injury a result of swinging the bat in the eighth inning. It's unclear how long he'll be sidelined.

    BY THE NUMBERS: 3 -- Teams in American League history that have opened the season by trailing in their first 20 games after the Twins did it this year (also the 1910 St. Louis Browns and 1988 Baltimore Orioles). The Twins snapped the string April 27.

    QUOTE TO NOTE: "It's not like we're swinging the bats bad. We're hitting the ball hard. It's just we're not lucky right now. It's got to turn around. I mean, it has to." -- DH Rondell White (.143), on the struggles of the Twins' woefully unproductive lineup.

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