Twins look to end losing skid

Twins look to end losing skid

The warning signs are everywhere, and it's clear that the Twins need to start making some quick changes.

That starts on Thursday afternoon in the final game of a two-game series against the Royals. The Twins, who have lost four consecutive games, also are wrapping up a four-game homestand.

Offensively, it's been a struggle for the Twins over the past few games. Manager Ron Gardenhire believes the team has been pressing a bit too much. Rather than making the young pitchers they've faced work deep into counts, the Twins have been chasing pitches. And it's caused them nothing but trouble.

"We talked with [hitting coach Joe] Vavra about being more patient," Gardenhire said. "We need to put pressure on the pitchers to make mistakes."

So the goal for the Twins on Thursday is to make Royals right-hander Zack Greinke work. Greinke was the starter in the Twins' last win, which came on Saturday in Kansas City.

"He has pretty good stuff, but sometimes gets a little wild," Twins center fielder Torii Hunter said of Greinke. "He still has a pretty good idea of what he's doing out there. So hopefully we can do the same thing we did last week and get a win."

Pitching matchup
MIN: RHP Boof Bonser (0-1, 6.53)
Bonser will be making his second straight start against the Royals. On Saturday in Kansas City, Bonser wasn't bad. But he wasn't great either. The right-hander worked five innings and allowed three earned runs. His control was solid, as he struck out seven and issued just one walk, which was intentional. But Bonser struggled with Kansas City's left-handed hitters, with Mark Teahen and Alex Gordon each hitting home runs.

KC: RHP Zack Greinke (1-2, 4.82)
Greinke fashioned a subpar performance Saturday afternoon against the Twins, throwing five innings of four-run ball. It could have been a lot worse, but he was helped by three double plays. Greinke had little command of his pitches, especially his fastball. Location is a must for the young right-hander.

Player to watch
Hunter extended his hitting streak to 12 games on Wednesday with a solo home run in the second inning. Hunter is 6-for-18 (.333) in his career against Greinke, with two homers and five RBIs.

On the Internet
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television

On radio
• 1500 KSTP

Up next
• Friday: Twins (RHP Ramon Ortiz, 3-1, 2.48) at Tigers (RHP Justin Verlander, 1-0, 2.08), 6:05 p.m. CT
• Saturday: Twins (RHP Carlos Silva, 1-1, 2.74) at Tigers (LHP Mike Maroth, 2-0, 5.06), 12:05 p.m. CT
• Sunday: Twins (LHP Johan Santana, 3-2, 3.44) at Tigers (RHP Jeremy Bonderman, 0-0, 3.18), 12:05 p.m. CT

Kelly Thesier is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.