Dozier lone bright spot as Twins struggle in NY

April 23rd, 2018

NEW YORK -- In what was both a continuation of their struggles since the Puerto Rico series and their prolonged troubles at Yankee Stadium, the Twins fell behind early against the Yankees and couldn't recover in a 14-1 loss on Monday night that extended Minnesota's losing streak to four games. New York made it a blowout with three runs in the seventh and six in the eighth, giving the Twins their worst loss since July 19, 2015, in a 14-1 defeat against the A's.
After getting swept in St. Petersburg, the Twins turned to right-hander Jake Odorizzi for the series opener, but he was hit hard in the first inning before settling down. Odorizzi was hurt by a pair of walks in the opening frame, including with two outs, despite getting ahead, 0-2. made him pay with a two-run double off the left-center-field wall before scoring on a single from former Twins outfielder .
"A lot of self-inflicted damage by me tonight," Odorizzi said. "Too many three-ball counts. Letting guys back into at-bats. Just a lot of not executing pitches. Tonight is completely on me. I put us behind the eight-ball early and didn't give us a chance to win tonight. These guys in here deserve better, and I'm going to give them better in the future."

Despite the club's scuffles in both scoring and preventing runs since leaving Puerto Rico on Wednesday, Odorizzi said the Twins aren't panicking. But Twins manager Paul Molitor admitted he can tell some players are pressing offensively to try to get it going in the right direction.
"There's still quiet optimism even though the last couple games have been sketchy," Odorizzi said. "I take pride in stopping streaks like this. It's something where I give myself a little extra energy to stop a losing streak. But I wasn't able to do that tonight. We have three more games, so a lot of series left and a lot of season left. It's April, so there's plenty of time to right the ship for the team, me, everybody."
New York tacked on another run in the second on a solo homer from before Odorizzi got on track, retiring 11 of 13 before getting chased with two outs in the fifth on a solo blast from Stanton. Odorizzi was charged with five runs on five hits and three walks over 4 2/3 innings to fall to 1-2 with a 4.50 ERA.

"The outing was a struggle from the beginning, and as we've seen [Odorizzi] do, he tried to stay with it as best he could," Molitor said. "It was just one of those things where we tried to stretch him out as far as we could knowing how we were a little strapped as far as people we wanted to bring in the game with a deficit."
The Twins were stymied by right-hander , who gave up one run on three hits and two walks over 6 2/3 innings. Minnesota didn't score until the fifth inning on a two-out RBI single from . In one of the lone positives of the night, Dozier extended his hit streak to 17 games this season and 24 games going back to last year. The 17 straight games to open the year with a hit extends Dozier's club record.

"Dozier had a really nice at-bat to get us on the board," Molitor said. "But we couldn't do much other than that."
New York broke the game open with a three-run seventh, with Stanton connecting on an RBI single and adding a two-run double off . Rule 5 Draft pick also served up a grand slam to Didi Gregorius in the eighth.
Kinley's struggles led to center fielder pitching in the eighth inning. LaMarre gave up a two-run homer to Austin but retired Hicks and Andujar.

"It was just a bad situation, just don't get hurt," said LaMarre, who pitched one inning with the Red Sox in '16. "Try to throw the ball over the plate and get some balls hit at people, hopefully. You hate to be in that situation, just from a win-loss situation."
After getting charged with two runs while recording two outs to see his ERA rise to 6.75 in four appearances this year, Busenitz was optioned to Triple-A Rochester after the game. The Twins will make a corresponding move on Tuesday, with the most likely candidate to be recalled.
Dating back to 2002, the Twins are 14-47 (.230 winning percentage) at Yankee Stadium, including postseason series losses in 2003, '04, '09 and '10 and last year's American League Wild Card Game.
"It has been tough. I think we've tried to compete and stay with these games, and we've been playing from behind a lot. I think that can be trying if you do it day after day. We're kind of looking for that day where something good happens early for us offensively, and your starter goes up and it gives us a chance to play the game from the other side of the coin." -- Molitor, on the losing streak
Fresh off throwing seven scoreless innings in his native Puerto Rico against the Indians on Wednesday, right-hander (2-1, 1.63 ERA) will continue to build upon his impressive start to the season. He's thrown at least seven scoreless innings in three of his four starts, and he has walked one batter in 27 2/3 innings compared to 29 strikeouts. Berrios will oppose Yankees lefty in Tuesday's 5:35 p.m. CT contest.