May 12, 2012 at 8:58 pm
MINNEAPOLIS (KNSI) - In his first start for the Minnesota Twins, pitcher P.J. Walters held the Toronto Blue Jays to only two runs on six hits and struck out five over six innings of work. A lack of clutch hitting by the Twins squandered the start in a 2-1 loss to the Jays.
Facing a 2-1 deficit after six and a half innings, the Twins put the tying and winning runs on base in the seventh and the eighth but stranded all four runners. The loss drops the Twins to 9-24 on the season, the Blue Jays are now 18-15.
The deciding run of the game came off the bat of an all too familiar Blue Jay. With the score tied 1-1 in the top of the sixth, Jose Bautista put a ball into the flower bed above the right field wall, giving Toronto the lead. Originally called a double, the umpires overturned the call after a video review.
Walters gave up a hit to the second batter he faced, but ended the inning with a double play ball. The former Blue Jay then held Toronto to just one hit over the next three innings and recorded three of his six strike outs. Walters takes the hard luck loss and falls to 0-1 after his 93 pitch effort.
Toronto starter Drew Hutchinson proved a single run stingier than Walters over six innings. The righty issued four walks to the Twins, but gave up just three hits and one run as he moves to 2-1 this season.
The Twins struck first with a run in the fourth inning. Back to back one out hits in the fourth from Brian Dozier and Joe Mauer set the table. Then with two outs Hutchinson walked Ryan Doumit and Trevor Plouffe to give the Twins the early lead. Mauer ended the day 2-4, his seventh multi-hit effort of the year.
In the top of the fifth, after Walters retired the first two batters with ease, Colby Rasmus doubled to left-center and came home when the next batter, Adam Lind, lofted a single to center to tie the score 1-1. Rasmus picked up two of the six hits off Walters and went 2-for-3 on the evening.
Now 2-4 on the home stand, the Twins wrap up the series with Toronto looking for a split Sunday at 1:10. The game will feature dueling southpaws as Scott Diamond (1-0, 0.00) will try to build on his solid Minnesota debut, taking on the Blue Jays’ Rickey Romero (4-0, 3.56).