The Twins were in rough shape after Wednesday's 8-2 loss to Tampa Bay at Target Field, which went so poorly it may have derailed the team's chances in Thursday's day-night double-header.
First, Delmon Young pulled himself from the starting lineup, forcing the team to put him on the 15-day disabled list. Then Francisco Liriano melted down early, forcing manager Ron Gardenhire to use three relievers in a lost cause.
Adding to Gardenhire's problems are designated hitter Jim Thome's strained oblique muscle, and the sore quadriceps of outfielder Jason Repko. As icing on the cake, Justin Morneau took a pitch off his forearm in the eighth inning.
Asked if he's worried about Morneau's ability to play Thursday, Gardenhire said, "I'm worried about everybody, OK? We have two games (Thursday)."
Outfielder Rene Tosoni was called up from Class AAA Rochester to take Young's spot, and pitcher Anthony Swarzak was recalled to pitch the Thursday night game on three days of rest. To make room, the Twins optioned Eric Hacker back to Rochester.
Hacker pitched 3 1/3 innings in relief Wednesday, walking in runs on the first two batters he faced.
"There's a lot to be worried about when you have two ballgames and you don't have very many on the bench," Gardenhire said. "Plus, our pitching got a little thinner tonight."
After taking batting practice Wednesday, Young told manager Ron Gardenhire he couldn't get loose in the cold, damp weather. It was 40 degrees at first pitch and started snowing soon afterward. Young had missed the previous five games because of the flu and what the team was calling sore ribs; now he's on the DL with what is officially a strained left oblique muscle. The move is retroactive to April 19.
"We gave him every opportunity to get well. We need Delmon in the lineup," Gardenhire said. "You have to give him a chance to get well. It wasn't supposed to be a big, long thing. We gave him every opportunity to get back on the field; it didn't work out."
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