May 7, 2012 at 7:44 am
Minneapolis (KNSI) – After a one win six game road trip to the West coast, the Minnesota Twins return home still looking for answers to a haggard start to the Major League Baseball season.
After opening the final series of the trip in Seattle with a win Friday, the Twins were outscored 12-2 over the final two games of the weekend, mustering a total of six hits in the two games. Opponents shut out the ailing Minnesota offense three times in a week that saw slugger Justin Morneau head to the disabled list. The trio of scoreless games mark the first three shut-outs against the Twins this season. Into their home stand Minnesota is sporting the second worst batting average in the American League and the fifth worst average in all of baseball.
The Minnesota pitching staff didn't fare much better on the trip. In the Twins one win, Carl Pavano did manage one of the best outings for a starter this season, spinning six innings of two run ball, backed by three perfect innings from the Twins bullpen. But aside from that start, the pitching staff allowed 29 runs on the trip, bringing their team ERA to a hefty 5.69 on the season. Struggling Twins starters have ballooned their ERA to a combined 15.47.
But, as the team begins a nine game home stand Monday, there could be help in the wings for both the starting rotation and the line-up. Minnesota made a pair of roster moves heading into the week calling up left-handed starter Scott Diamond and prized infield prospect Brian Dozier.
Diamond, who made his debut last season, appearing in seven games, has a career Major League record of 1-5 with a 5.08 ERA in 39 innings. The former Rule-5 draft pick from Guelph, Ontario started the 2012 season strong in Rochester recording four wins in his first six games with a 2.60 ERA over 34.2 innings. Diamond also struck out 26 while walking just seven. The lefty will take over the spot in the rotation currently filled by Liam Hendricks, who the club optioned to Triple-A Monday morning.
Dozier, a short-stop by trade, has seen time at second and third base in his three-plus years in the minor leagues. More than the depth around the infield, the Tupeulo, Mississippi native can provide, the organization hopes Dozier can add a spark to the offense. The former 8th round draft pick is a career .305 hitter in the minors, with more than 140 RBI since 2009. Through his first 119 at bats this year at Triple-A Rochester, Dozier compiled a .276 average with 12 RBI and 8 extra base hits. The right-handed bat could make his debut as early as Monday night.
Dozier takes the roster spot opened up by Morneau's latest trip to the DL.
The home stand opens with the Los Angeles Angels in for a second visit Monday. First pitch at Target Field scheduled for 7:10. In his first start since no-hitting the Twins, Jered Weaver(4-0, 1.61) will go for the Angels against the struggling Francisco Liriano(0-4, 9.97) for the Twins.
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