After the Twins broke out to score more than five runs for the second time all year last night, the offense reverted to form today and showed exactly why they're having trouble even averaging three runs per contest.
During the second inning the skies opened in Boston, and play was halted for more than two hours, after which Brian Duensing didn't return. It's common that after such long breaks a pitcher doesn't come back to the mound, but it seems that with their overworked bullpen the Red Sox thought it better to send Buccholz out again. And he didn't let them down.
All afternoon Buccholz induced awkward swings and weak contact. It was as though he knew what the Twins thought he would throw and where he would throw it, and so he did the total opposite. The result was give strong innings, three-plus after the rain delay, and his final line is impressive: six strikeouts, two hits, no runs.
And that pretty much sums up the Twins' afternoon, really. They were terrible. Michael Cuddyer picked up a pair of hits and Justin Morneau managed one, and that was it other than walks to Denard Span and Rene Rivera. Jason Kubel and Rene Tosoni were pathetically terrible, as they combined to go 0-for-7 with seven strikeouts. You can't get much suckier than that.
Twins pitching wasn't nearly as bad. Duensing allowed a run in just two innings of work, but the rain got in the way of whatever the rest of his day may have had in store. But Kevin Slowey was solid, working around a rough third inning en route to a very effective re-debut. Kevin gave the Twins four and a third on a night when the weather demanded a sacrifice.
Glen Perkins picked up the final two outs of the seventh by striking out both batters he faced, keeping the game at 2-0 as we dipped to the bottom of the eighth. At this point I'd typically rip on Alex Burnett (0.2 IP, 3 H, 1 BB, 2 R), but considering the fact that the Twins may as well just have forfeited every turn at the dish it doesn't really matter that he allowed Boston to double their lead.
It was a bad way to end the winning streak, but games like this happen. Thinking positively, we're still 3-1 in our last four games, and there's no reason the Twins can't come back out tomorrow and win again.
Studs: Slowey, Perkins, Cuddyer
Duds: Kubel, Tosoni, Valencia, Burnett