For the second time in as many seasons, the Phillies traveled to Target Field for an interleague series against the Minnesota Twins. After a head-scratching series against the Brewers, the team absolutely had to come into this series looking to take at least two out of three. The first Philly pitcher looking to secure a win was Cole Hamels, who was coming off just his second win of the season. He would be opposed by P.J. Walters making his fourth start of the campaign. A Phillies win would put them back in the dreaded one-game-under-.500 position.
Save for a Jamey Carroll (who I didn't even know still played baseball) single in the top of the first inning, not much offense occurred in the first two frames. FUN FACT: 5 of the 6 outs made in the second came from strikeouts.
John Mayberry Jr. began the third by reaching first on a throwing error by Pedro Florimon, and moved to second when catcher Humberto Quintero grounded out. Michael Young hit a sharp, two-out liner to right field that dropped in for a base hit. Mayberry scored, but Young was thrown out trying to move to second. 1-0 Phillies.
Moving to the fourth, Josh Willingham just missed a homerun to left, doubling off the face of the wall. Justin Morneau and Oswaldo Arcia both followed with hard doubles, and the score now movd to 2-1 Twins.
The Phillies did threaten in the fifth, when Mayberry Jr. doubled in the gap to lead it off. Freddy Galvis followed with a one out walk, resulting in two runners on. However, a Quintero strikeout and Michael Young 1-3 put out erased the opportunity.
After tossing 108 pitches through six innings, Cole Hamels would be replaced by Justin De Fratus. He managed a productive 1-2-3 inning with two Ks in his 13th appearance of the season.
First the first time in the game, the Phillies managed to have multiple hits in an inning. Pinch hitter Kevin Frandsen singled to right, and Ben Revere singled through the hole on the left to kick P.J. Walters out of the game. The Twins would bring lefty Brian Duensing into the game to flip Jimmy Rollins to the right side of the plate, but not after some controversy. Manager Ron Gardenhire signaled for the left hander, but right hander Casey Fien came out. Once Gardenhire realized the mistake, he quickly asked the crew chief to allow Duensing to come in the game even though Fien did not throw to a batter. The umpire obliged, and Charlie Manuel wasn't very happy. He did argue the decision, but Duensing was cleared to pitch while Fien returned to the bullpen.
All that being said, Duensing would strike Rollins out on a questionable third strike, but surrender a two-out single to Howard that would tie the game at 2. Domonic Brown would end the inning on a ground out, but they went to the bottom of the eighth tied.
Mike Adams was brought in to begin the eighth, and after allowing two baserunners to reach, he would be replaced by (wait for it...)
Bastardo gave up Morneau's third hit of the night, one that put the Twins ahead 3-2 late.
Unsurprisingly, the Phils would go down without a wimper in the ninth. Twins win 3-2.
Disappointing, to say the least. Not much analysis needed here. Phillies have lost four in a row, and that's just not good. I see changes in the near future. Tomorrow's matchup will pit Phillie Tyler Cloyd against former-Met-turned-Twin Mike Pelfrey in 8:10 action.