Lance Lynn was good on Monday night. Unfortunately for the ex-Ole Miss star, Justin Verlander was better. Looking much sharper in his second start for Minnesota than in his first, Lynn tossed five shutout innings with nine strikeouts, but the Twins fell to Verlander and Houston 2-0 at frigid Target Field. Lynn, a free agent signee in Minnesota after several years with St. Louis, allowed five runs in his first inning with the Twins last week. “I feel like I’ve gotten off to the worst start I’ve ever got off to in the big leagues,” the big right-hander told mlb.com. “Good thing is there’s a lot of season left, so I’ll be all right.” Northwest Mississippi Community College product Cody Reed, in his 2018 debut with Cincinnati, endured a rocky start at chilly Philadelphia, allowing three earned runs on four hits and a walk in three innings. Poor starts have been a theme for Mississippi-connected pitchers this season. Mississippi State product Kendall Graveman, Oakland’s No. 1 starter, is 0-2 with a 9.45 ERA in three starts, having yielded five homers. (He has had the misfortune of facing the Los Angeles Angels twice.) Ex-State standout Chris Stratton, who won a job in San Francisco’s rotation in the spring, is 0-1, 4.35 in two starts. Ole Miss alum Mike Mayers had a 4.50 ERA in two appearances with St. Louis before being sent down when Greg Holland was activated. Brandon Woodruff, an MSU product, posted a 5.14 in three games (one start) for Milwaukee before he, too, was demoted to the minors, and fellow Bulldogs alum Jonathan Holder was sent down by the New York Yankees lugging a 20.25 ERA over three appearances. P.S. Ex-Ole Miss standout Drew Pomeranz, who started the season on the disabled list for Boston, had made one rehab appearance, allowing two earned runs in 4 1/3 innings in a Triple-A start. He should be ready for prime time soon.