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Lynn struggles as Twins fall, extend skid

April 25, 2018

NEW YORK -- With Miguel Sano crushing the hardest-hit homer of his career with a two-run blast in the first, it appeared the Twins would finally get some momentum to snap their losing streak and find a way to win at Yankee Stadium.But it wasn't to be yet again, as

NEW YORK -- With Miguel Sano crushing the hardest-hit homer of his career with a two-run blast in the first, it appeared the Twins would finally get some momentum to snap their losing streak and find a way to win at Yankee Stadium.
But it wasn't to be yet again, as right-hander Lance Lynn continued his struggles and the club scuffled with runners in scoring position in a 7-4 loss to extend their losing streak to six games on a foggy Wednesday night in the Bronx.
"When I made pitches, I would get outs, but I didn't make them when it counted," Lynn said. "Seems like that's how it's going for me so far, so I've just got to get after it next time and get back to work."
Lynn, who signed a one-year deal during Spring Training, is off to the worst start of his career, going 0-2 with a 7.71 ERA in four outings. He lasted 3 2/3 innings, giving up six runs on seven hits and three walks.
"He's going to attack and throw his fastball in different forms in terms of how he gets it to move," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "I don't think he's where he wants to be. He's shown improvement, but obviously with this lineup right now, there's not much margin for error."
Sano helped stake the Twins to an early lead with his homer off Sonny Gray. It had an exit velocity of 114.6 mph, which is the third-hardest hit homer by a Twins player since Statcast™ was introduced in 2015. It was also tied for the hardest-hit ball in Sano's career.

But the Yankees came right back with three straight hits to open the bottom of the first, including an RBI single from the red-hot Didi Gregorius. New York took the lead with a four-run third, keyed by a solo homer from Gregorius and a three-run shot from Christopher Austin. Lynn later gave up a sacrifice fly to Aaron Judge in the fourth in an inning that saw Lynn roll his ankle on a throw home.

"The really big mistake was the three-run homer," Lynn said. "With two outs, that can't happen. Just made a bad pitch."
The Twins tried to claw back, scoring in the fourth on an RBI groundout from Robbie Grossman after loading the bases. But they left the bases loaded, foreshadowing what was to come. Minnesota put two runners on with nobody out in the fifth, but it couldn't score, and it couldn't capitalize again in the seventh, despite an RBI single from Max Kepler and another bases-loaded situation. But the Twins left them loaded yet again, going 3-for-12 with runners in scoring position.

"At least we put some hits on the board and gave ourselves some opportunities," Molitor said. "Bases loaded, nobody out, we got one, and then had another situation late there where a base hit would've tied the game. But we couldn't get the big hit."
LoMo can't deliver: Much like with Lynn, the Twins thought they were getting a bargain, signing Logan Morrison to a one-year deal in Spring Training. But Morrison has been mired in a season-long slump, and he couldn't come through in several key situations Wednesday. He came up with the bases loaded and two outs in the fifth, but reliever Chad Green got him to pop out to third. In the seventh, Morrison came up with the bases loaded again with one out, but lefty Chasen Shreve struck him out before getting Grossman to pop out to first on a great sliding catch from Austin in foul ground.
"My swing is better if I stay back a little longer and put it in the seats, but it's not where we're at right now," said Morrison, who is hitting .113 this season. "My swing is long, just got to be shorter to the ball."

Minnesota's six-game losing streak is the club's longest since losing seven in a row from Aug. 16-23, 2016. They are 1-12 at Yankee Stadium since '15, including the postseason.
"Get a hit with the bases loaded, and we'll get out of the funk. It's not far. We're not far off. Just keep going." -- Morrison
The game ended on a review, as Eduardo Escobar hit a slow roller to Gregorius at short and was ruled out at first on the throw. After a review, the call was upheld, giving Albertin Chapman the save. If Escobar would have been safe, Ryan LaMarre was set to pinch-hit for Morrison as the game's potential tying run.

Right-hander Kyle Gibson is set to take the mound opposite left-hander Jordan Montgomery in the series finale on Thursday at 12:05 p.m. CT at Yankee Stadium. Gibson (1-1, 4.29 ERA) gave up four runs on five hits over 6 1/3 innings against the Rays last time out. Sano, who homered on Wednesday, went deep off Montgomery in the lefty's lone career start against the Twins last season.

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.