Inside Pitch- Baker A Bright Spot

In this edition of Twins' Inside Pitch, Scott Baker has been a bright spot in the rotation so far this season, Luis Castillo is struggling in the field and at the plate, Rondell White seems more comfortable at the plate, and so much more.

One of the Twins' most important acquisitions of the winter, second baseman Luis Castillo, has suddenly become one of the biggest question marks two weeks into the season.

Castillo, whose fourth-inning error led to two unearned runs in a two-run loss to the Angels on Thursday, has three of the Twins' five errors in the early going.

But bigger than that, the Gold Glove fielder and .404 hitter aggravated his sore left knee in the seventh inning Thursday and left the game.

His status is day-to-day, and it's uncertain whether he'll be available for this weekend's big series against division rival Chicago.

The Twins need all the help they can get heading into that series, having lost three of the past four games as they prepare to face a hot White Sox team that has won five straight.

REPLAY: Scott Baker, the owner of one of just two quality starts by the Twins' pitching staff so far this season, could not hold a first-inning lead and lasted just five innings in a 6-4 loss to the Angels on Thursday. The defeat closed out a 6-3 homestand for the Twins.

Baker pitched behind in the count much of his outing, continuing an early-season trend for Twins' starters. He actually lowered the team's ERA -- if only because it was so high at the start of the day -- but it's still the worst in the majors at 6.85.


  • DH Rondell White, who entered Thursday's game with a .098 batting average this season, returned from his first day off of the season to collect his first two-hit game of the year and double his season RBI total with his first two-RBI game. He is expected to get a start in the outfield this weekend at Chicago as manager Ron Gardenhire continues to try to get the veteran hitter on track.

  • Despite losing three of their last four games on their just-concluded nine-game homestand, the Twins left home Thursday night feeling they accomplished what the had to on their 6-3 homestand. Minnesota had started the season with a 1-5 road trip. "It was huge," said OF Michael Cuddyer, whose walk-off homer in the 10th inning Wednesday gave the Twins their lone win in the past four games. "You hate to say you need to do something in early April, but we needed to come in and have a good homestand, and we were able to do just that."

  • After a .125 start in the Twins' season-opening six games on the road, 3B Tony Batista hit .364 (12-for-33) with seven RBIs during the nine-game homestand, including a 3-for-4 game Thursday.

  • CF Torii Hunter, on the other hand, went 0-for-5 with three strikeouts Thursday, making him just 2 for his last 16 with eight K's. He's hitting just .143 (3-for-21) in his past five games with 10 strikeouts.

  • The Twins lead the league with 18 infield hits this season, including five each by the first two hitters in the lineup: LF Shannon Stewart and 2B Luis Castillo.
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