Twins Scratch Late, Cannot Claw All the Way Back

Twins Scratch Late, Cannot Claw All the Way Back Click to Enlarge Photo:

Jun 26, 2012 at 9:58 pm

MINNEAPOLIS (KNSI) – Trailing 3-0 into the bottom of the ninth the Minnesota Twins rallied for a pair of runs, but stranded the winning run on first in a 3-2 loss to the Chicago White Sox.

Down to their final two outs in the ninth, the Twins had mustered just two base-runners since the third inning. However, Justin Morneau worked a one out walk, then, after a strike out, Ryan Doumit singled, and Chicago closer Addison Reed hit Chris Parmelee with a pitch to load the bases with two outs. Jamey Carroll then came up with a clutch two run single to make it a one run game at 3-2. But the comeback bid fell a run short as Denard Span grounded out to end the game.

Starter Liam Hendriks, 0-6 in his career headed into the game, made just one mistake in six and one third innings. That mistake came after a walk with one out in the fourth. Alex Rios took a hanging slider into the second deck for a 2-0 White Sox lead. Around the blast, Hendriks retired 13 of 15 batters he faced from the second through the sixth.

While Hendriks kept his mates in it, the offense did little early to support him in return.

One night removed from leaving 13 on base and posting a 2-for-12 performance with runners in scoring position, the Twins struggled with situational hitting again. In the first three innings Minnesota stranded four runners on and went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position.

Gavin Floyd can be blamed for a bulk of the Twins struggles. The righty tossed seven shut-out innings, issuing just five hits, no walks and striking out nine. Every Twin except for Alexi Casilla struck out at least once against Floyd who moves to 6-7 on the year.

An infield single off Hendriks' foot coupled with a one out bloop single, scored the third run of the game and chased the right handed Aussie from the game. Hendriks allowed three runs on five hits with five strike outs and one walk as he falls to 0-5 this season.

For the game, Minnesota stranded eight runners as they mustered seven hits total. Even with Carroll's near heroics, the Twins have just three hits in twenty-one chances with runners in scoring position in the series.

The bullpen held the line for the final two and two thirds following Hendriks. The newest member of the pen, Tyler Robertson stole the show in his Major League debut. The big lefty struck out the side in a perfect eighth inning, needing just 15 pitches to retire Alejandro De Aza, Kevin Youkilis and Adam Dunn on strikes.

Wednesday will decide the series against the White Sox at 12:10. Nick Blackburn(4-4, 7.45) will start for Minnesota against league ERA leader Chris Sale(8-2, 2.24). Twins now sit 8.5 games behind the front running White Sox. Catch the update on the early game with Matt Wood during 'Ox in the Afternoon' starting at 2 p.m. on AM 1450, FM 103.3 KNSI.

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