In his three seasons in Minnesota, Ricky Nolasco has become the poster child for the ailing Twins franchise.
When he hasn’t been hurt, Nolasco has been battered by opposing hitters, and the four-year, $49 million contract the Twins gave him has been one of several moves that have not panned out.
Nolasco failed to make it out of the third inning for the fourth time in his brief tenure with the Twins, giving up six runs on eight hits in 2 2/3 innings of a 10-4 loss to the Kansas City Royals on Monday night.
”There was just no consistency with anything tonight,” Nolasco (1-3) said. ”Obviously that loss is on me. I feel healthy and I feel good and that’s all I can ask for.”
The right-hander has given up 30 runs in his last six starts.
Joe Mauer had three hits, including his third home run of the season, but the Twins lost for the 19th time in 23 games to fall to an MLB-worst 11-33.
”We dug ourselves a hole,” manager Paul Molitor said. ”Ricky’s had some decent starts along the way here. … But tonight wasn’t his best. Just struggling with his command.”
Salvador Perez had a career-high five hits for the Royals, who put All-Star outfielder Alex Gordon on the disabled list on Monday with a fractured right wrist.
Molitor gave slumping second baseman Brian Dozier the night off, hoping a day or two of watching from the dugout would somehow get him back on track. Both Molitor and hitting coach Tom Brunansky said before the game that Dozier and several of the Twins hitters have been trying to do too much and have had difficulty relaxing as the losses – and strikeouts – have piled up.
The game was delayed 41 minutes by rain, but it didn’t come before the Royals knocked Nolasco around the park in a four-run third inning. Paulo Orlando and Perez drove in runs and Jarrod Dyson ended Nolasco’s night with a two-run single that made it 6-2.
”It’s very frustrating,” Nolasco said. ”We come in here every day and work. There’s no excuses. Just because the record shows what it is, we’re not going to quit and give up working.”
The Twins did manage 12 hits in the game.
”We held them off there for a while, but we couldn’t put up any crooked numbers out there,” Molitor said. ”Overall just not a very good game for us.”