Bad bats, bullpen and field play cost Twins 8-1 loss to Red Sox
BOSTON — The Twins got to where they finished the 2021 season on Sunday — in last place. Carlos Correa has also been here before, so he’s not worried.
“This is my eighth season, and it happens every year. There’s not a year where the offense doesn’t cool down, whether it’s in the beginning, middle or end,” Correa said, and indeed, almost exactly a year ago, the Correa Astros team fell to last place on April 21. They went on to win the AL West. “That’s what happens when you play 162. There are ups. There are downs.”
This one is quite low. Bailey Ober didn’t allow an earned run in six innings on Sunday, but the Twins lost for the fourth time in five games, 8-1 to the yellow-and-blue-clad Red Sox at Fenway Park.
The Twins’ offense was mostly faltering early in the season, as their .187 batting average, the worst in the AL, clearly shows. The Twins had just four hits on Sunday, the sixth time in nine games they’ve been limited to five or fewer hits.
“Our offense hasn’t worked as it should yet,” Correa said. “But it’ll pick up. When it picks up, it’ll be fun again. It’s about not panicking.”
Right now it’s also about not scoring. The Twins have taken home just 15 points over the past week, including eight in Friday’s win; they’ve led a run through the plate in just nine of their last 53 innings and had four hits in their last 33 at bats with runners in scoring position.
Correa himself is one of many Twins hitters who are battling well below their normal output. The prized free agent signee is hitless in his last 12 at-bats and has hit just .133 this season. Jorge Polanco is at .200, Miguel Sano at .077 and Max Kepler – who singled on Sunday and scored the Twins’ lone run on a sacrifice fly by Trevor Larnach – just .167.
BOXSCORE: Boston 8, Twins 1
“You can’t get too emotional about it. You just have to keep trying to have good sticks,” manager Rocco Baldelli said. “It’s not about one guy doing it. It’s about looking to the next guy to do the job because we’re going to need all the guys in the roster to do it.”
What’s particularly painful is the fact that the Twins feel like they could easily be 6-3 instead of 3-6, with just a hit or two missing.
“We had a chance to win every game. … Even today we were one big hit away,” Correa pointed out of a game that was just 2-1 until the Red Sox rack up six runs against Caleb Thielbar and Cody Stashak. in the eighth round. “The Last Series [against the Dodgers], we were close until round seven. We lost two one-point games to Seattle. We’ve always been into games. It was just that shot that was missing. Hopefully we can get it back soon.”
Where is the offense? Twins Team Stats
Ober tried to get them back, keeping the Red Sox scoreless through the first five innings. But a Sano error at first base to start the sixth inning sparked a rally in Boston that handed Ober his first loss of the season. Xander Bogaerts followed by doubling the left field wall, and a pair of sacrifice flies from JD Martinez and Alex Verdugo produced all the runs Boston would need.
“I feel like I commanded the zone pretty well today. We did a good job trying to keep these guys off balance,” Ober said. “Were very close [to a turnaround]I feel like.”