The opportunities remain few and far between for a dormant Minnesota Twins offense, as Ron Gardenhire's team came up short against Tampa Bay on Sunday to lose the three-game series and fall to 5-11 on the year.
Slugger Josh Willingham's 15-game hitting streak was abruptly halted in the defeat, and the left fielder finished 0-for-2 with one walk. Pinch-hitter Ryan Doumit provided the only offense of the afternoon for the Twins with a two-run single in the sixth inning, as the Tampa Bay pitching staff kept a surprisingly firm hold on the series throughout. As a team, the Twins could only manage to produce five hits over the course of the game.
Francisco Liriano barely lowered his season ERA from 11.91 to 11.02 with yet another poor effort, and was once again erratic with four walks in just five innings. Despite only giving up three hits, Liriano was burned for five runs for the fourth consecutive time this season, and is starting to look like a massive liability at the top of the Twins' rotation.
Jeff Niemann picked up the win for Tampa Bay to snag his first victory of the season, but only threw 80 pitches and 5.1 innings before departing. Minnesota will look to turn things around on Monday when it opens a three-game series at home with Boston with a well-traveled Jason Marquis on the hill.