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Twins looking forward, not back after rough trip

Despite 1-5 start, Minnesota ready for home opener

CHICAGO -- The Twins have a lot to look forward to. They'll play their home opener against the Royals on Monday in a lively atmosphere, as it'll be the Twins' first sellout since Aug. 3, 2013, at Target Field.

Then they can put a poor first week of the season behind them.

The Twins (1-5) wrapped up their first road trip of the season with a 6-2 loss to the White Sox on Sunday afternoon.

"That was a bad week," right fielder Torii Hunter said. "During the season, it happens sometimes. It's just part of the season, but starting off that way, it looks really bad. We have a new week coming up. We're going home to some normalcy. We got Opening Day. We're going to try to enjoy that and hopefully we can get a routine going."

First-year manager Paul Molitor said he's remaining optimistic. The Hall of Famer was able to celebrate his first managerial victory on Friday when the Twins beat the White Sox, 6-0.

"I'm going to keep doing what I'm doing, try to affirm people and be positive, teach where I can and figure out ways to put the best players out there to give us a chance to win," he said.

Outscored 33-13 in six games, the Twins have struggled offensively and defensively. After opening the season with 24 straight scoreless innings, the offense perked up in Chicago, as the Twins scored 12 runs in three games against the White Sox.

Minnesota is batting .197 with one home run -- by Brian Dozier. The Twins have struck out 49 times and drawn 15 walks. Collectively, the pitchers have a 5.88 ERA, and the starting pitchers have allowed 23 earned runs in 31 1/3 innings.

Video: [email protected]: Hughes strikes out four in six innings

"It's not good. It's not the road trip we wanted to have," said starting pitcher Phil Hughes, who allowed three runs in six innings Sunday to drop to 0-2. "But it's still early. We're thankful to be going home, and we know the atmosphere is going to be good. Hopefully, we can get into a little bit of a groove and start clicking. Today, we swung the bats OK, just didn't pitch, so we need to do a better job of getting some better starts out of our guys. That starts with me."

And, on Sunday, the defense faltered. The Twins committed two errors, bringing their season total to four.

Reliever Blaine Boyer, who allowed three runs in the eighth inning Sunday, said he is as frustrated as anyone on the team.

"We need to be better. I need to be way better," Boyer said. "A lot of this falls on me, and I'm fine with that."

Sarah Trotto is a contributor to
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