Swept Away: Twins Fall To Royals, Run Losing Streak To Six

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Twins Swept By Royals With 10-3 Loss

The Minnesota Twins were embarrassed once again on Sunday afternoon at Kauffman Stadium, as the Kansas City Royals completed a three-game sweep of the Twins with a 10-3 victory.

The Royals jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second when Jeff Francoeur deposited a Carl Pavano offering over the left field wall for a solo home run, and extended that lead to 2-0 in the bottom of the fourth when Alexi Casilla. . .again. . .made an error on a play that should have ended the inning. Minnesota got one back in the top of the fifth on a triple by Casilla that scored Drew Butera.

The Royals then really got to Pavano, scoring three runs in the bottom of the fifth to extend their lead to 5-1. Justin Morneau answered in the top of the sixth with a solo home run to right field, his first homer since July 6 of 2010 in Toronto, to make the score 5-2, but the Royals just kept on hitting. They chased Pavano in the bottom of the sixth by putting up two more runs and making the score 7-2.

Pavano was pulled with one out in the sixth, having allowed seven runs (six earned) on 12 hits during that frame. This was his reaction after Ron Gardenhire lifted him for Glen Perkins.

That might be the hardest any Twin has hit anything all season long.

Pavano took the loss in this one to drop his record to 2-3, and raise his ERA to 5.84. Luke Hochevar, who had allowed 12 runs in 12.1 innings in his previous two starts, got the victory by allowing three runs on five hits through 6.1 innings, and evened his record at 3-3.

The Twins are now in firm possession of baseball's worst record at 9-18. They've allowed sixty-four more runs than they've scored this season, which is nearly double the second-worst margin in baseball. . .the Chicago White Sox have baseball's second-worst run differential with a mark of -36. They've lost six straight, and have been outscored in those six games by a combined total of 54-14. When you're allowing nine runs a night, you're not going to win many ball games, and that's even more true when you're a team that's struggling on offense the way Minnesota is.

The Twins have a day off before they hit U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago for a quick two-game set with the White Sox. We'll have all of the coverage of it for you right here at SB Nation Minnesota.

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Royals Score Eight In The Eighth, Humiliate Twins 11-2

The Minnesota Twins scored the first two runs of their game against the Kansas City Royals on Saturday evening. That's generally pretty good.

The Royals scored the next eleven runs. Yes, that's generally pretty bad.

The Kansas City offense sent thirteen men to the plate in the bottom of the eighth inning, and scored eight runs. . .all of them with two men out. . .to blow out the Minnesota Twins 11-2 in the second game of their three game set. The loss marks the Twins' fifth straight defeat, and means that Minnesota still has the worst record in the American League at 9-17.

As I mentioned, things actually got off to a good start for the Twins, as Denard Span singled and went to third on Matt Tolbert's bunt single thanks to a throwing error by Royals' catcher Matt Treanor. Jason Kubel then walked to load the bases with nobody out. Justin Morneau then grounded into a double play, allowing Span to score, and Tolbert to advance to third. Tolbert then scored on the Royals' second error of the inning, as third baseman Mike Aviles threw wildly on a ground ball by Michael Cuddyer.

The Royals added single runs in the third on an error by Michael Cuddyer, in the fourth on a solo home run by Billy Butler, and in the seventh on a sacrifice fly by Aviles. That made the score 3-2 in favor of the Royals. Then, the eighth inning hit, and Joe Nathan came in to relieve started Brian Duensing. Rather than go into detail, let me just do a bullet point play-by-play of the inning.

-Billy Butler double (Jarrod Dyson pinch-runs for Butler)
-Jeff Francoeur fouls out to first base
-Wilson Betemit intentionally walked
-Alex Escobar pops out to second

So, we have runners on first and second with two outs. No big deal, right? Normally, no. . .but this is the 2011 Minnesota Twins we're talking about. Let's continue.

-Dyson steals third
-Treanor gets hit by a pitch to load the bases

At this point, Jose Mijares comes in to relieve Nathan. The fun continues.

-Chris Getz reaches on an infield single, scoring Dyson and leaving the bases loaded (4-2, Royals)

Jim Hoey now comes in to relieve Mijares, and the real meltdown commences.

-Aviles walks, bases still loaded (5-2, Royals)
-Melky Cabrera reaches on an error by Justin Morneau, Treanor and Getz score, runners on first and second (7-2, Royals)
-Wild pitch by Hoey, runners move to second and third
-Alex Gordon homers (10-2, Royals)
-Dyson reaches on infield single, runner on first
-Francoeur doubles, Dyson scores (11-2, Royals)

And then the inning finally ended. The Twins went down 1-2-3 in the top of the ninth, and the Twins had their fifth straight loss. The last time the Twins had the American League's worst record this late in the season was 2000, a season that saw the Twins finish with a mark of 69-93.

Duensing actually pitched pretty well, allowing three runs (two earned) and scattering eight hits in seven innings of work. He took the loss, dropping his record to 2-1 on the year. Nate Adcock got the victory for the Royals, his first decision of the 2011 season.

The Twins will look to avoid the sweep tomorrow in Kansas City, with first pitch scheduled for 1:10 PM Central time. Carl Pavano (2-2, 5.12 ERA) will try to stop the bleeding for Minnesota, while Luke Hochevar (2-3, 5.68) will take the hill for Kansas City.

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Twins Squander Late Lead, Fall 4-3 To Kansas City

The Minnesota Twins keep finding new and creative ways to lose baseball games, and keep losing ground in the American League Central as a result.

The Twins took a 3-1 lead into the bottom of the seventh inning, but managed to squander it away, losing 4-3 to the Kansas City Royals on Friday night at Kauffman Stadium.

The Twins struck first in the top of the fifth inning on a solo home run by Luke Hughes, but the Royals tied it in the bottom of the frame when Alex Gordon's triple scored Melky Cabrera. The Twins took the lead back in the top of the sixth, when Jason Kubel and Justin Morneau started the inning with consecutive singles. After Michael Cuddyer's fly out, Danny Valencia doubled to bring both Kubel and Morneau around to score and make the score 3-1.  The Royals picked up a run in the bottom of the seventh to narrow the gap to 3-2.

Then, the bottom of the eighth inning happened.

With Alex Burnett on in relief, Jeff Francoeur struck out swinging to end the inning. Wilson Betemit then doubled, and an infield single by Kila Ka'ahiue put runners on the corners with one out. Jarrod Dyson came in to run for Ka'ahiue, and on his attempt to steal second, Drew Butera's throw wound up in center field, allowing Betemit to score and Dyson to move to third. Dyson then scored on a sacrifice fly to shortstop.

Yes, you read that properly. . .a sacrifice fly to the shortstop.

Alexi Casilla caught Alcides Escobar's pop-up in shallow left field, turned around, and threw a ball towards home plate that he could just as well have kicked Pele-style, allowing Dyson to score.

Joakim Soria set the Twins down 1-2-3 in the ninth, and the Royals got the victory.

Burnett took the loss for the Twins, his first decision on the season. Blake Wood got the win for the Royals in his first decision of 2011, and Soria's save was his sixth on the season.

Same two teams will get together tomorrow in Kansas City, with first pitch scheduled for 6:10 PM Central time. The Twins will send Brian Duensing (2-0, 3.00 ERA) to the mound, and the Royals will send Sean O'Sullivan (1-1, 4.20) to the hill.

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