Twins Territory? Suddenly, it's last place...


Maybe a change of scenery will be good for them.

The Minnesota Twins, on the road for the next nine games, flirted with the .500 mark for the first six weeks of the season. But now they're a season-worst four games under at 18-22, and in last place in the American League Central Division.

Last year after 40 games, the Twins were 14-26, so it's still an eight-game improvement. But ... it doesn't feel like it this second.

That'll happen when you go 2-7 at home in a big mid-May homestand -- which included a weekend sweep at the hands of David Ortiz and the Boston Red Sox.

How bad was it? Here's a sampling of what's being said:

Tom Powers, St. Paul Pioneer Press: "Joe Mauer still is recovering from a stiff back. And it shows. He now has struck out with the bases loaded and the game on the line two games in a row. With Mauer still recuperating, and (Josh) Willingham struggling mightily, the Twins haven't been able to buy a clutch hit."

Jim Souhan, Minneapolis Star Tribune:Josh Willingham is hitting .197. Trevor Plouffe hit cleanup on Sunday despite having hit only four home runs. Chris Parmelee is hitting .198, Brian Dozier is hitting .212 and Aaron Hicks is hitting .139. Suddenly, nobody is blaming former hitting coach Joe Vavra for the Twins’ lack of run production.

Ray Richardson, St. Paul Pioneer Press: "Before Sunday's game, (Twins manager Ron) Gardenhire was essentially begging for (Pedro) Hernandez to give the team at least seven innings to spare extra work on his bullpen, but he would have accepted six. He got neither."

That's just a snapshot of what happened over the weekend. The best column we've seen that wraps up the Twins woes comes from ESPN 1500's Patrick Reusse, who, after some initial optimism, is predicting another 90-plus loss for the local nine:

"Forty games in, it has been discovered what the Twins have in a ballclub: another bad one. They are destined to spend the middle 80 games jostling with the White Sox for fourth and fifth places in the AL Central, and the final stretch trying to avoid 90 losses for a third straight year."

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