Inside Pitch: Sierra Has Tendon Rupture
Sierra could miss a couple months.
Sierra could miss a couple months.

Posted May 2, 2006


In this edition of Twins' Inside Pitch, Ruben Sierra should miss a couple of months with a ruptured tendon, the Twins' continue to struggle at the plate, Torii Hunter picks up two hits in his first game in the cleanup spot, and much more.

An ugly April that seeped into the first game in May has firmly planted this year's so-called contender among the worst-starting Twins teams in history.

When Seattle beat the Twins 8-2 in their fourth straight blowout loss, it gave the Twins a 9-16 record -- just one game better than the worst 25-game start since the team moved from Washington, D.C., in 1961.

Only the 1978 and 1995 teams -- each at 8-17 -- have started worse than this year's team through 25 games. Like that '95 team, these Twins are already nine games out of first through 25 (the '78 team was 11 games out at this point).

"I don't know what to say," outfielder Lew Ford said. "It's just difficult right now."

Those '78 and '95 teams, by the way, finished 73-89 and 56-88, respectively.

"We're trying just about everything we can," manager Ron Gardenhire said.

REPLAY: Not even young Scott Baker could escape what's ailing this year's Twins. The most consistent pitcher on the worst-performing starting rotation in the majors had his worst start of the season Monday, as the Mariners clubbed him for 10 hits, including two home runs, in an 8-2 Seattle victory at the Metrodome.

Baker (1-3) lasted just 5 1/3 innings as his ERA jumped from 3.47 to 4.46 in the Twins' fourth straight loss. Seattle's Joel Piniero (3-2), on the other hand, pitched a complete game.

NOTES, QUOTES:

  • OF Rubin Sierra, who left Saturday's game after injuring his left biceps swinging the bat, was diagnosed Monday with a distal biceps tendon rupture in his left elbow. The team has not given a projected return date but said surgery isn't expected to be needed and Sierra should not be forced to miss the rest of the year.

  • RF Lew Ford singled home a run in the first inning Monday, snapping the team's 0-for-25 skid with runners in scoring position.

  • 2B Luis Castillo snapped a 0-for-13 streak with a second-inning triple Monday.

  • Manager Ron Gardenhire was ejected for the second time this season and 22nd time in his four-plus-year managerial career after arguing and tossing his cap in the eighth inning.

  • CF Torii Hunter batted in the cleanup spot for the first time this season on Monday and responded with two singles, neither with men on base. He was thrown out at second to end the third inning trying to stretch one hit to a double.

  • The Twins have trailed in 24 of their 25 games this season.

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