Tragic number as of Wednesday morning: 19.
Twins and Tigers both had three run leads in the middle innings behind rookie starters, and both saw their middle relief implode.
In the Twins case, it was newcomer Jon Rauch (above), who entered with the bases loaded and no outs. He not only allowed all three inherited runners to score, he gave up three of his own. Which really ruins his Minnesota ERA (from 0.00 to 5.78), not that 4 2/3 innings is significant.
Unlike most middle relief meltdowns under Ron Gardenhire, this was strictly a one-pitcher affair. But Rauch faced no left-handed hitters; Cito Gaston loaded the lineup with right-handers against Brain Duensing and stuck with them against Rauch. That meant Gardenhire didn't have his usual opportunities to shuffle in a LOOGY and work back to a righty.
Two other points:
* Any team that gives up three hits, including a home run, to John McDonald deserves to lose.
* Last Friday I posted a piece comparing Jose Morales and Mike Redmond. Since then Morales has started once; the Twins won. And Redmond has started once; the Twins lost.