Molitor not fretting scoring drought to open season
DETROIT -- The Twins fell short of setting the dubious all-time record for consecutive scoreless innings to open a season, but they did set a franchise record dating back to their days as the Washington Senators.
Minnesota didn't score until the seventh inning of Thursday's 7-1 loss to the Tigers, which broke a streak of 24 straight innings without a run to start the year. It eclipsed the franchise mark of 19 innings set by the 1940 Senators, but fell two innings short of the all-time record of 26 set by the 1943 St. Louis Cardinals.
Twins manager Paul Molitor, however, said he's not worried about the offense going forward and said the team was able to keep the mood light in the dugout despite their historically slow start offensively.
"Guys were kind of joking about it, believe it or not," Molitor said. "But you have to start somewhere. You have to be a little light-hearted after you suffer through so many innings, 24 or whatever it was."
The run also snapped a streak of 34 scoreless innings dating back to last year, as the Twins finished the season with 10 straight scoreless innings against the Tigers in Detroit. It also marked the first time this season the Twins had a runner advance past second base.
It came with the help of a miscue by left fielder Yoenis Cespedes, who made an error to allow the run to score. With Joe Mauer at first base, Kennys Vargas dropped a double into left-center field but Cespedes misplayed it, allowing Mauer to score all the way from first. Vargas didn't get an RBI on the play and the Tigers weren't charged with an earned run.
"It's all we got and we needed a misplay to get it," Molitor said, "but we got a point on the board."
Twins right-hander Kyle Gibson, who gave up six runs on six hits and five walks over 3 2/3 innings in the loss, also said he's not concerned about the offense this early in the year. Tigers starters David Price, Anibal Sanchez and Shane Greene combined to throw 23 2/3 innings without giving up an earned run in the series.
"The offense is fine," Gibson said. "We're just running into some good pitching. Price, Sanchez and Greene all threw the ball really well. So we're going to be fine."