The Minnesota Twins have lost five of their last six games and find themselves in a tie for second place in the American League Central.
The Twins look to apply the brakes on Monday when they open a three-game series against the Kansas City Royals in Minneapolis.
Minnesota’s difficulties included letting a late three-run lead against the Los Angeles Angels go by the boards on Saturday. The Twins lost that game 5-3 in 11 innings. The Twins failed in their attempt to regroup the following day, as an early two-run advantage also failed to hold up in a 4-2 loss in the series finale.
“Obviously, these games will haunt you,” Carlos Correa said Saturday after Minnesota was one strike away from victory. “But at the same time, we know we’re good enough to bounce back.”
Correa and Byron Buxton each had a pair of hits Sunday. Correa is 7-for-18 with one homer and two RBIs during his five-game hitting streak.
Buxton belted a two-run homer in the first inning on Sunday. However, he is just 4-for-24 against the Royals this season.
Right-hander Joe Ryan (8-5, 3.95 ERA) will take the mound on Monday looking to answer a horrific outing with a strong one, much like he did on Aug. 3.
Ryan, 26, surrendered 10 runs on eight hits — including five homers — in a 10-1 shellacking by San Diego on July 29. He atoned five days later by striking out nine in a 4-1 win over Detroit.
In his next start, however, he allowed six runs (five earned) on nine hits in five innings of a 10-3 setback at the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday.
“It always becomes difficult when you don’t have some of the pitches that you’ve planned to have for that day and then working through that,” Ryan said, per the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “Yeah, if your stuff’s on, and they’re on, then it’s a little bit more fun, and I can get a better picture, I guess, of how I line up against that. It’s tough. It’s tough when I’m not executing at the level that I try to hold myself to.”
Ryan has kept Kansas City under wraps in both of his career encounters. He scattered two hits over six innings in a 1-0 win on April 21 and yielded just one run in 5 2/3 frames of a 9-2 romp on May 21.
Ryan will look to subdue Vinnie Pasquantino, who homered among his three hits on Sunday to help the Royals snap the Dodgers’ 12-game winning streak following a 4-0 decision. Pasquantino is 16-for-45 with four homers and seven RBIs in August.
“It is just constant adjustments,” Pasquantino said. “I’m not going to say anything clicked this week, but it is one of those things where you just keep going, pushing forward and it worked out today.”
Kansas City left-hander Kris Bubic (2-6, 5.02) will look to turn in his team’s second strong pitching performance in as many days on Monday.
Bubic, 24, recorded his third straight no-decision on Wednesday despite allowing three runs (one earned) in 5 2/3 innings against the Chicago White Sox.
He is 1-3 with a 4.65 ERA in seven career appearances (six starts) versus the Twins.
–Field Level Media