Twins aim to keep heads high after rough series

'We got crushed,' Hunter says as Minnesota falls back to .500

Twins aim to keep heads high after rough series

TORONTO -- Rogers Centre has been a house of horrors for the Twins in recent years, and it was again the case this week with Minnesota getting swept in a four-game series against the Blue Jays.

The Twins entered the four-game set with a one-game lead for the second American League Wild Card spot, but after Thursday's 9-3 loss, they find themselves three games back of Toronto. At 54-54, they're also back at .500 for the first time since May 2, when they were 12-12.

"I think right now it doesn't feel good at all," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "It's how you get there and we're going the wrong way. Coming out of Spring Training, and you hear .500 in August, you might've had some optimism there, but you just have to take a step back. I'm not feeling too good about it myself. And I don't think the players are. I think the frustration is continuing."

Minnesota has gone 16-42 against Toronto in its last 58 meetings dating back to 2007, including a record of 8-23 at Rogers Centre. The Twins have won just one series in Toronto going back to 2006.

They were thoroughly outplayed, as the Blue Jays outscored them by a 26-12 margin. It was the first time this season the Twins suffered a four-game sweep.

"We just have to believe in ourselves," veteran right fielder Torii Hunter said. "But we got demolished in these four games and I don't remember the last team I've been on that's lost four in a row [in a sweep]. We got crushed. I'm pretty sure they can make a lot of teams look bad. They can really play. They just outplayed us in every facet of the game."

The Twins have lost 10 of 12, but Hunter said they're trying to stay optimistic.

"We can definitely get our swag back," Hunter said. "We just have to brush it off. We know we lost four in a row here in Toronto but we just have to be ready to go tomorrow. Just keeping lifting spirits is all we can do."

Right-hander Kyle Gibson, who has been the club's most consistent starter this season, struggled Thursday, allowing a season-worst eight runs on nine hits and three walks over 4 2/3 innings. But like Hunter, he said the Twins simply have to move on and get ready for their three-game series against the Indians that starts on Friday.

"Every loss is disappointing, no doubt about it, but we're moving on to the next one," Gibson said. "We're in a little bit of the funk right now but you have to focus on the next one. The only way to turn it around is to not worry about the streak we're on now and move on to the next one."

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.