The Minnesota Twins lost to the Baltimore Orioles 4-2 on Wednesday night. It is the third consecutive season that the Twins have started the year with back-to-back losses.
“This is only the second game,” Miguel Sano told the Pioneer Press. “The first two games, everybody is being too aggressive. Tomorrow is another day. We need to be patient. If you don’t have patience with the game, you never can win. If you have it, you can win every moment.”
Sano’s aggressiveness cost him both at the plate and in the field. He allowed a bloop hit to get past him, which cost the Twins a run, and then swung and missed on a high third strike with the tying run on base.
“He’s having a little trouble with the velocity pitches that are elevated,” manager Paul Molitor told the Pioneer Press. “We saw a little bit of that at the end of camp. I think he’s really trying to identify pitches, and he just seems to be a tick behind some of those fastballs. We’re going to need to get him going at some point.”
Kyle Gibson struggled with command in his first start, and the Twins were unable to get to Yovani Gallardo, who only gave up a hit and a run. Both starters only went 5.0 innings on a chilly night.
Gibson walked four batters, and only 58 of his 105 pitches were for strikes. He gave up seven hits and four runs, and after the game he told the media his curveball and slider were not functioning properly.
“To be right back [feeling] kind of how I felt last year, it’s a little frustrating,” Gibson, who is in his third year with the Twins, told the Star Tribune. “The goal is still to cut down walks and get ahead of guys, and I didn’t do that very well.”
Baltimore got on the board first when Jonathan Schoop doubled in former Twin J.J. Hardy in the second inning. Minnesota briefly tied the game in the top of the third when Joe Mauer scored Byron Buxton on a sacrifice fly.
But Gibson gave up a solo shot to Chris Davis in the bottom of the third, and then a leadoff double to to Hardy in the fourth — who scored on a Joey Rickard sacrifice fly. Matt Wieters recorded an RBI double in the fifth.
Trevor Plouffe homered to left field in the sixth to cut the lead to 4-2, but Minnesota got no closer. They were 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position Wednesday night, and are 1-for-12 to start the season.[Star Tribune, Pioneer Press]