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Rays Down Twins 5-2, Bats Remain Silent

On the bright side, no one got hurt, and they're not the Boston Red Sox.

Beyond that, though, it was a disturbingly familiar night for the Twins, as their offense remained anemic in a 5-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays. Nick Blackburn was as close to dominant as he can be for the first five innings, before getting tagged for three runs in the sixth and two more on a gigantic Kelly Shoppach dong in the seventh.

The blame doesn't lie with Blackburn nearly so much as the Twins offense, which was absent for most of yet another game. A Danny Valencia double brought Jim Thome all the way around from first to give the Twins a 1-0 lead in the 5th, and that was it until some 9th-inning sort-of-drama, with the Twins getting the tying run on deck before Micheal Cuddyer struck out to Tampa's fourth reliever of the inning to end it. Other than that, Wade Davis and the Tampa 'pen held the Twins in check, like almost everyone else has this season. It's getting old.

Notes, studs and duds after your jump:

Studs: your backup catchers. Sweet Drew gunned down two more baserunners, and is pretty much Reverse Brian Harper at this point. In the 8th, we got our first taste of STEVE HOLM!, who was immediately part of a 6-2-6 double play to get the Twins out of a bases-loaded jam. It's as Ann as the nose on plain's face that STEVE HOLM! is my new favorite Twin and I will have Fischean banhammer the shit out of anyone who speaks ill of him. You've been given fair warning.

Duds: the offense. As noted by Parker Hageman, the Twins have scored just 3 runs in innings 1-3 of the first 13 games this year. This is terrible. Oh, and Denard Span got picked off again, and he's been one of the better players so far.

Notes: all indications are that Mauer's sickness is what put him on the DL, NOT a recurring issue with his knees. This really is the best-case scenario for the squad, who can ill-afford to have him out for two weeks, much less a month or longer.

So, how's about a win on Saturday? Everyone cool with that? Good.