By: Dan Cole | KFAN.com
The past week was a rough one for the Minnesota Twins.
After winning four games the week before, including three wins against the Red Sox at Fenway Park, the Twins (18-22) picked up just one win in six home games against the White Sox and Red Sox last week. They were outscored 36-24 during the six-game stretch and reached double-digits in hits just three times, allowing themselves to fall further below the .500 mark and to last place in the AL Central.
The week began with a three-game series against the visiting Chicago White Sox (19-23), who had just lost two of three against the Angels the weekend before.
The first game of the series night was the Aaron Hicks show. The rookie blasted two solo homers in the fourth and sixth innings in addition to robbing White Sox slugger Adam Dunn of a potentially game-tying two-run homer in the top of the sixth. Hicks received a curtain call after the second homerun en route to a 10-3 Twins victory.
It was the first time this season that Twins fans had seen the hype surrounding Hicks become reality, and created a lot of optimism that maybe his early season struggles were behind him. He did, however, then finish the week 1-for-17, turning his Monday night performance into a mirage of what could be.
The Twins followed the excitement and commanding victory of Monday night by dropping the final two games of the series against the White Sox.
Tuesday night's game was a pitching duel between Kevin Correia and Jake Peavy. Tied 2-2 going into the eighth inning, Correia faltered first, giving up two runs and the game for the Twins, who lost 4-2.
Then, on Wendesday afternoon, Twins starter Mike Pelfrey was chased off the mound in the fifth inning by the hot bats of Adam Dunn and Dayan Viciedo, both of whom homered off of Pelfrey. The White Sox took that contest 9-4, walking away with two of three at Target Field.
Twins first baseman Justin Morneau stood out offensively against Chicago, going 7-for-14 with four RBIs and two runs scored in the series. He now leads the Twins with 29 RBIs on the season.
With the Red Sox (27-17) coming to town over the weekend, the Twins had reason to expect success. Despite Boston's impressive record and offensive numbers, the Twins had just defeated them three times at Fenway Park the week before, including a 15-8 beating in one of the games.
Success, however, was not achieved. The Twins were swept by the Red Sox in disappointing fashion.
On Friday night, the teams went into extra innings before Red Sox outfielder Jonny Gomes drove in the game-winning run on a sacrifice fly in the top of the 10th, as Boston won 3-2. Twins starter Vance Worley, who has been struggling to find his groove on the mound this season, had arguably his best outing on Friday, allowing zero earned runs on six hits in six innings of work.
Saturday's and Sunday's games were not as close. Twins left-hander Scott Diamond got lit up in just 4.1 innings on Saturday, as Boston teed off on him for six runs early on, on their way to a 12-5 win.
The series concluded with a rainy contest on Sunday afternoon in a game that included a three-hour delay due to weather. The Twins were shut down by Red Sox starter John Lackey, who shut them out through six innings. Boston would claim the series finale 5-1.
Trevor Plouffe went 4-for-11 in the Boston series with two double and an RBI, increasing his batting average to .252 this season.
This Twins take the the road this week for a nine-game trip against the Braves, Tigers and Brewers.