Brad Radke has been around long enough to know that a couple of bad pitches can cost you a ballgame.
He’ll try to avoid making the same mistakes he made during his opening day loss when the three-time defending AL Central champion Minnesota Twins continue their weekend series with the visiting Chicago White Sox.
Radke started his seventh straight opener for the Twins on Monday in Seattle, but the veteran right-hander was reached for five runs and five hits over seven innings in a 5-1 loss.
Radke ultimately lost the game on two bad pitches, both of which landed in the seats off the bat of Seattle slugger Richie Sexson.
“I don’t think it was a bad pitch to throw, but I needed better location — down and away. I put us in a hole early,” Radke said of Sexson’s three-run shot in the first inning.
Radke, who has posted double-digit wins in nine of his previous 10 major league seasons, struck out five and didn’t issue a walk.
“Radke settled down,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “With the exception of a couple of pitches to the big guy, that was it. They got us early.”
The Twins were shut down by Orlando Hernandez in their home opener Friday as El Duque pitched Chicago to a 5-1 victory with seven strong innings.
Rookie Jason Bartlett went 2-for-4, driving in Minnesota’s only run with a double in the third. Bartlett, who beat out three other competitors in camp to win the shortstop job, is batting .385 with three RBIs after three games.