It took all the way until the eighth inning, but the Minnesota Twins finally recorded a hit against red-hot Baltimore starter Jason Hammel during one of the most impressive starts of his career. Unfortunately, when it takes nearly eight innings to record a hit like it did the Twins, a victory is often hard to come by.
Hammel held the Twins hitless for seven full innings on Sunday, and had more than enough in the tank left to flirt with a no-hitter before a Justin Morneau double in the eighth ended his bid. A double by outfielder Josh Willingham plated Morneau to put the Twins in the scoring column, but it was too little too late on a day where Hammel's command of the strike zone was the main story.
Not known as a big strikeout pitcher, Hammel pitched eight strong innings with five strikeouts before handing the ball over to closer Jim Johnson for the save. The Twins, now a dismal 0-3 to open the year, will now have to pick up the pieces as one of the worst teams in baseball after the sport's opening weekend. Minnesota will play host to Albert Pujols and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in a three-game series starting on Monday.