MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire had a scathing assessment of Ricky Nolasco.
Nolasco allowed six runs and seven hits in a season-low two innings, and the Twins couldn't overcome a nine-run deficit in a 9-7 loss to the New York Yankees on Sunday.
"He did nothing," Gardenhire said. "He didn't have anything. Nothing was coming out of his hand. They hit everything he threw up there."
Nolasco (5-7), signed to $49 million, four-year contract, has a 5.90 ERA, the highest among 93 qualifying pitchers in the major leagues. He is 1-2 with a 6.53 ERA in his last six starts.
Minnesota lost for the 10th time in 13 games and is last in the AL Central at 39-48 as it prepares to host the All-Star game on July 15.
"It was a bad one," Nolasco said. "Didn't have anything, but that's no excuse. Usually you battle and try to find a way. Just had a couple bad innings, and that's all I had. I wanted to go back out and try to battle, but any time you do that to your team and drop them down 6-0, it's tough."
Gardenhire wouldn't rule out a trip to the bullpen.
"We're discussing a lot of options," he said. "We're trying to figure it out ourselves. It starts with him. You know what, he's got to do a better job. Bottom line is he needs to figure out something because today wasn't any good at all. He didn't do anything. He didn't locate anything. They were all over every pitch. So, we've got to figure out where we go next."
Jacoby Ellsbury homered, doubled and drove in four runs for the Yankees, who moved back above .500 at 44-43. Before the game, New York traded Vidal Nuno to Arizona for Brandon McCarthy and cut outfielder Alfonso Soriano.
"Sometimes you can't really pinpoint it, but we like where we're at right now," Ellsbury said. "Hopefully keep it rolling."
Derek Jeter and Ichiro Suzuki each had three hits for the Yankees, who have won 14 of 18 overall at Target Field. Jeter's ninth-inning single made him the eighth player to reach 3,400 hits.