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Updated: September 11th, 2011 2:31pm
Twins Daily: With 2-1 loss, Twins have scored 1 run or fewer 39 times

Twins Daily: With 2-1 loss, Twins have scored 1 run or fewer 39 times

by Phil Mackey
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A 2-1 loss to the Detroit Tigers on Sunday marked the American League-leading 87th defeat of the season for the Minnesota Twins, who have now scored one run or fewer 39 times.

The skinny

Tigers' starting pitcher Doug Fister continued to prove Sunday why he has been one of baseball's best trade acquisitions this season, holding the Twins scoreless for seven innings. Fister allowed only three hits and two walks while striking out five.

Scott Diamond allowed 11 Tigers hitters to reach base in six innings -- not counting a botched double-play ball by Matt Tolbert in the second inning -- but he held the opposition to only two runs (one earned). Diamond walked four and allowed seven hits, but lowered his ERA to 3.94.

The Twins' top four hitters -- Jason Repko, Trevor Plouffe, Joe Mauer and Luke Hughes -- combined to go 1-for-14 with two walks.

Trailing by two in the ninth, the Twins put runners on first and third with nobody out when Mauer walked and Hughes singled. But they were only able to plate one on an RBI fielder's choice by pinch hitter Jason Kubel.

Turning point

A sloppy first inning put the Twins behind the eight-ball right from the beginning.

Austin Jackson led off the frame with an infield single off the glove of third baseman Hughes, and Magglio Ordonez followed with a single to put two men on for Delmon Young, who delivered an RBI hit to center that put the Tigers up 1-0.

The next batter, Miguel Cabrera, hit a tailor-made double play ball to second baseman Matt Tolbert, but Tolbert booted it, allowing Victor Martinez to come to the plate with the bases loaded and nobody out.

Martinez bounced into a 4-6-3 double play, but Ordonez scored from third to give Detroit a 2-0 lead.

Diamond fanned Ryan Raburn to end the inning -- an inning that could have turned out much worse. But the damage was enough to bury the Twins.

Numbers game

39: The number of times the Twins have scored one run or fewer in a game this season. 

0: Teams in the American League that have more losses than the Twins.

4: Double plays hit into by Victor Martinez.

4: Wins needed by the Twins in their final 16 games to avoid losing 100.

4-14: The Twins' record against the Tigers this season.

Health report

• 3B Danny Valencia was scratched from the lineup with a sore shoulder.

• OF Michael Cuddyer (wrist) missed his sixth consecutive game, but remains day-to-day.

• 1B Justin Morneau still needs to be cleared by Major League Baseball due to the league's concussion protocol, but it's possible he could return to the lineup as the designated hitter during the upcoming Kansas City series.

On deck

The Twins have an off day Monday before traveling to Kansas City for a two-game series beginning Tuesday.

Coming up

• Tuesday: @ Kansas City, 7:10 p.m. RHP Liam Hendriks (0-1, 3.86) vs. LHP Bruce Chen (10-7, 4.30)
• Wednesday: @ Kansas City, 3:10 p.m. RHP Kevin Slowey (0-5, 6.07) vs. RHP Jeanmar Gomez (3-2, 3.95)
• Thursday: Off day

Phil Mackey is a columnist for He co-hosts "Mackey & Judd" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Phil | @PhilMackey | Mackey & Judd