Not even a visit from the lowly Cincinnati Reds could snap the Minnesota Twins out of their funk.
Minnesota’s losing streak reached eight games Friday night after the Twins blew a four-run lead and fell to Cincinnati, 15-9.
They’ll try to turn things around Saturday when Jake Odorizzi faces off against Sal Romano at Target Field, where thanks to weather issues, they’ve played all of five games this season.
But home cooking hasn’t helped, either, leaving the Twins searching for answers.
“You try to find something you can build on,” manager Paul Molitor said. “You are back home. We have had five games in this building so far and have been out of Florida for over a month.”
Odorizzi got roughed up in his last start, a 14-1 loss to the Yankees. He was charged with five runs on five hits and three walks while striking out three over 4 2/3 innings.
“Tonight’s completely on me,” Odorizzi said. “I put us behind the eight ball early on and didn’t give us a chance to win. These guys deserve better in here, and I’m going to give them better in the future. This was just a crappy outing.”
He gave up two home runs in that outing and five over his last two starts. Acquired in a trade with Tampa during spring training, Odorizzi has gotten off to a slow start with the Twins, compiling a 4.50 ERA, 1.23 WHIP with 14 walks in 26 innings of work.
“The last couple games have been a little sketchy,” Odorizzi said. “I take pride in usually stopping streaks like this. It’s still April. There’s a lot of time to right the ship for the team, for myself, for everybody.”
Odorizzi will have a tough task ahead of him, especially when it comes to Reds first baseman Joey Votto, who reached base six times and homered for a fourth straight contest in the Reds’ victory Friday night.
Votto got off to a slow start this season but is starting to return to his MVP-caliber form of late, reaching base in 12 straight games.
“We’ve seen this the last few years. He kind of was in that (down) area,” Reds interim manager Jim Riggleman said. “Then by the end of April, mid-May, he’s again putting up historic numbers with walks and power. It’s very encouraging.”
Romano is looking to build off an encouraging outing his last time out when he held the Braves to a run on four hits and a walk while striking out five over a season-high six innings of work.
“I had one inning where I threw a lot of pitches,” he said after that outing. “Take that inning out of there, maybe I can go longer, but I was able to go out there for six solid innings and give the team a chance to win.”
The Twins and Reds have faced off 22 times since the advent of interleague play, with each team winning 11 times.
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