Fort Myers righthander Zach Ward certainly wins the tough-luck loser award of the season.
The 23-year-old 2005 third-round pick, whom the Twins acquired from the Reds in a 2006 deal for righthander Kyle Lohse, enters the stretch run having lost nine consecutive decisions despite yielding more than three earned runs just once in those starts. Ward was 3-15, 3.14 with 88 strikeouts and 26 walks in 106 innings, snapping the losing streak in his second start of August when he limited Daytona to three runs on five hits over six innings last night for his first victory since May 26.
All but four of Ward’s losses this season came since he moved out of the bullpen and into the rotation in early May’"a role he in which he has thrived in every way except his record: he’™s 3-11, 3.12 in 17 starts.
Run production has been Ward’s biggest nemesis: he was outscored 45-15 in his 11 losses as a starter, including four shutouts.