Minnesota Twins Leave For Road Trip With Unanswered Questions

Duane WinnCorrespondent IMarch 21, 2017

The Minnesota Twins are one of the leading exponents of small ball.

However, one couldn't find the Twins' offense under a microscope Thursday afternoon.

Jarrod Washburn, who's had his share of success against the Twins, pitched eight innings of shutout baseball. He scattered five hits, all singles, and walked one as the Mariners captured a 2-0 victory and salvaged a split in the opening four-game set in Minnesota.

The Twins have struggled against the Mariners when they have placed runners in scoring position. This wasn't a problem Thursday afternoon. Washburn, now 6-1 lifetime at the Metrodome, allowed them only one chance.

Washburn worked himself out of an eighth inning jam to keep Seattle ahead. He walked Mike Redmond with one down and Harris singled to put runners at first and second. The lefty then got Denard Span to fly out before Alexi Casilla grounded out to end the potential scoring threat.

Mariners closer Brandon Morrow, who cost his team a victory Wednesday when he issued three walks in the ninth inning, issued a free pass to Michael Cuddyer to begin the ninth. Morrow then struck out Justin Morneau and Joe Crede, and retired Jason Kubel on a fly to end the game.

The Twins' anemic offense wasted a solid outing by Glen Perkins, who allowed five hits and two walks in eight innings. He struck out four.

Seattle scored the only run it would need in the first when Adrian Beltre drove in Franklin Gutierrez with a single.

Seattle added a run in the ninth off reliever Luis Ayala.

The victory capped a disappointing home-stand for the Twins, who were looking to get off to a quick start against a team which lost 101 games a year ago.

Instead, the Twins are leaving town with several unanswered questions.

The Twins, in four games against the Mariners, are batting .247. They've scored just 13 runs. And they've only eked out six walks versus 24 strikeouts.

The middle relief corps has been up and down.

Ditto for the starting rotation.

Fortunately, the Twins begin a three-game road trip Friday against the Chicago White Sox.

The White Sox are having even more trouble than the Twins in scoring runs. In three games against the Royals, another alleged patsy, Chicago has scored just five runs.