The Twins faithful who turned out Wednesday evening at the Metrodome were hoping that Scott Baker could slow down the Toronto Blue Jays' offensive juggernaut and perhaps witness the Twins speed up their own offensive attack.
Instead, they were treated to another fireworks display by the Blue Jays and a listless Twins offense that could not muster enough lift-off at the plate to attract a blip on the radar.
The Blue Jays battered Baker in his first start of the year for five hits and six runs. Four Blue Jays—Aaron Hill, Vernon Wells, Scott Rolen and Michael Barrett—hit Baker for homers.
And the frightening thing for the Twins was the Blue Jays were just beginning to whet their appetite for destruction.
Relievers Philip Humber, R.A. Dickey, and Luis Ayala surrendered 11 hits and six runs over the next five innings as the Blue Jays cruised to a 12-2 victory.
The Blue Jays struck for 19 hits and eight runs for a victory in the opener of a four-game set with the Twins on Monday.
Glen Perkins handcuffed the Blue Jays Tuesday on seven hits for two runs in eight innings, as the Twins eked out a 3-2 victory in 11 innings.
It was business as usual Wednesday for the Blue Jays, who padded their major league-lead in several offensive categories at the expense of the beleaguered Twins pitching staff.
It's not precisely the scenario that the Twins envisioned would unfold this season.
They expected their offense would struggle without the steady bat of Joe Mauer in the lineup.
However, their pitching staff, which was ranked seventh in the American League a year ago in team ERA, was expected to be their strong suit.
Through the first 10 games of the season, the 4-6 Twins are experiencing breakdowns in both departments.
The Twins' offense struggled mightily against Toronto starter Scott Richmond. They scored just two runs against the journeyman in seven and one-third innings. One run was the result of a wild pitch.
The Twins have scored just 35 run in 10 games. The pitching staff has surrendered 58 runs.
Their prospects for breaking out of their offensive doldrums could likely take a hit Thursday in the series finale. Former Cy Young winner Roy Halladay will be on the mound for the Blue Jays. He is 7-1 lifetime against Minnesota.