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No-hitter represents new low point for Twins

No-hitter represents new low point for Twins

No-hitter represents new low point for Twins
ANAHEIM -- So while the Twins didn't get a hit against the Angels on Wednesday night, it didn't stop them from hitting rock bottom in the early going this season.

Minnesota simply reached a new low by being held hitless by Angels ace Jered Weaver in a 9-0 loss at Angel Stadium.

It was the latest blow for the Twins, who fell to a Major League-worst 6-18 and are still reeling from last year's disappointing 63-99 showing that saw them finish with the worst record in the American League.

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Center fielder Denard Span didn't deny this was the low point this year, but he added that the Twins have nowhere to go but up from here. They have a chance to regroup with an off-day on Thursday before heading to Seattle for a three-game series against the Mariners.

"This is tough," Span said. "It's definitely tough. Nobody is going to feel sorry for us. We've got to enjoy the off-day and be ready to go. This is unacceptable. We're better than this. We've put in way too much hard work. It's just unacceptable."

Manager Ron Gardenhire has been frustrated by his club's struggles in the early going, as the Twins are in the midst of a funk that has seen them lose nine of their last 10 games.

The pitching has mostly been the issue -- the starters have combined for a 7.06 ERA in 125 innings -- but the offense has also struggled to hit with runners in scoring position, posting a .245 average in those situations.

The offensive woes have been most glaring over the last two games, as the Twins have gone 15 innings without a hit, which spans 48 plate appearances. They were also shut out in back-to-back games for the first time since Sept. 5-6, 2011, against the White Sox.

"I'm not too excited right now," Gardenhire said. "Let's put it that way. How far do you wanna dig yourself a hole here? It's early, but it's also too early to lose games like this too. We need to win some baseball games. We need to shake hands a little bit. It's the atmosphere you worry about. Guys keep take a beating in there and they can get up so many times, but we need to win a game and shake some hands. We need to have that feeling."

The Twins were especially beat up by the struggling Angels, who entered the series having lost six of their last seven games. But Minnesota still managed to get outscored 13-3 in the series, as Los Angeles slugged six home runs.

"We came in here and they just knocked us around," Span said. "They had three good starting pitchers start for them. But nobody is going to feel sorry for us right now. We have to pick ourselves up. It's not going to get easier. It's going to get harder. So we need to man up. I don't know if our backs are against the wall, but right now we need to turn it around."

The Twins keep saying this year has a different feel than last year, as the club has mostly avoided injuries and lost several close games.

Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau have been mostly productive this season, although both suffered setbacks during the week. Mauer missed Monday's game after being hit on the left knee by a foul tip, while Morneau missed two games to fly back to have his surgically-repaired left wrist examined. Morneau received good news, as there was only inflammation in his wrist, but he's still unsure when he'll make his return.

So while there's still plenty of baseball to played, the Twins know they need to snap out of this skid in a hurry, as they haven't done much to distance themselves from last season.

"We need to keep doing what we're doing," Trevor Plouffe said. "It's hard to keep saying that day after day when we're not winning these games. But we're preparing the right way. We have the right team. It's about playing hard, and we're doing that. We're rooting for each other and rooting hard, and it's all you can do. We believe we have a much better team than what we showed so far. So we'll continue to keep working. That's all you can do."

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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