The Minnesota Twins snapped a six-game losing streak on Sunday afternoon with an important 7-4 win over the Kansas City Royals. Now 6-15 on the year, Minnesota received steady pitching from starter Jason Marquis (6.0 IP, 3 ER), who lowered his season ERA to 6.23.
In what was nearly the biggest sports story of the day, Twins outfielder Josh Willingham finished the game 3-for-5 and was just a home run shy of the cycle. Willingham came to the plate for his final appearance in the bottom of the eighth with a great chance to add his name to the record book, but was unable to take Royals' reliever Nate Adcock deep.
Offensively, Minnesota's most important sluggers came alive when it counted, as hitters No. 1-6 combined for 10 of the team's 11 hits. The seven-run outing was also only the third time all season where the Twins have scored at least seven in a single game.
In search of just their third home victory of the season, the Minnesota Twins are well on their way on Sunday afternoon, and lead 6-3 over the Kansas City Royals after five innings.
The Twins chased Kansas City starter Bruce Chen from the game before he could finish the third, racking up six runs before the lefthander was sent to the showers. Aside from steady pitching by starter Jason Marquis, who has only needed 66 pitches to cruise through five innings, Twins hitters have been especially locked-in at the plate, and have already recorded eight hits.
Outfielder Josh Willingham has already collected a double, triple, and single in his first three plate appearances, and is a mere home run away from recording the cycle. Along with Willingham's 3-for-3 day to help power the offense, Minnesota third baseman Danny Valencia is also 3-for-3 with a pair of RBI.
After losing six games in seven days, maybe an extra day off will do the Minnesota Twins some good. The weather gave the Twins and Kansas City Royals another day off on Saturday but the two teams will resume their series on Sunday afternoon at Target Field.
Minnesota turns to veteran right-hander Jason Marquis (1-0) in an effort to stop the losing. Marquis is making just his third start of the season coming off of a loss to the Boston Red Sox in his last outing. With a 7.15 ERA Marquis has benefited from solid run support which will be key again for the Twins.
Kansas City will send Bruce Chen (0-2) to the mound looking for his first win of the season. Unlike Marquis, Chen has struggled to garner much run support in his first four starts finishing with two losses and two no decisions despite a tidy 2.52 ERA with 17 strikeouts to just four walks.
Saturday's rain out will be made up as part of a double header when the two teams play on June 30th. The game today is scheduled to start at 2:10 p.m. ET and will be televised on Fox Sports North.
The two teams will resume their three-game weekend series on Saturday with an afternoon games scheduled to start at 1:10 p.m. ET.
The Minnesota Twins are going to have to wait to attempt to end their six-game skid, as Saturday afternoon's game has been rained out. Here are the details from the team:
Today's (Saturday, April 28) game against the Kansas City Royals has been rescheduled due to inclement weather. The game will be made up on Saturday, June 30 at 12:10 p.m. as part of a split day-night doubleheader (gates open at 10 a.m.) The game scheduled for 6:10 p.m. on Saturday, June 30 will be played at its originally-scheduled time (gates open at 5 p.m.).
Twins starter Carl Pavano had another tough outing, giving up five runs (four earned) in six and a third innings before exiting with the game tied. Minnesota reliever Brian Duensing came in and was tagged with the loss after giving up singles to Kansas City third baseman Mike Moustakas and shortstop Alcides Escobar in the eighth inning. The hits plated two runs including the game-winning run when Moustakas scored on Escobar's hit.