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Twins' big rally falls short after 10-run surge

Lynn unable to complete 2nd; Minnesota nearly erases 8-run deficit
MLB.com @RhettBollinger

CHICAGO -- Despite scoring 25 runs in three games and reaching double figures in runs for the first time all season to nearly make a eight-run comeback on Sunday, the Twins left Wrigley Field empty-handed.

The only thing hotter than the Chicago weather over the weekend was seemingly the Cubs' offense, as the Twins allowed at least 10 runs in each of the three games, including an 11-10 loss on Sunday for a three-game sweep. Minnesota, which was outscored 35-25 during the series, has lost eight of 10 to drop to a season-high 10 games under .500 (35-45).

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CHICAGO -- Despite scoring 25 runs in three games and reaching double figures in runs for the first time all season to nearly make a eight-run comeback on Sunday, the Twins left Wrigley Field empty-handed.

The only thing hotter than the Chicago weather over the weekend was seemingly the Cubs' offense, as the Twins allowed at least 10 runs in each of the three games, including an 11-10 loss on Sunday for a three-game sweep. Minnesota, which was outscored 35-25 during the series, has lost eight of 10 to drop to a season-high 10 games under .500 (35-45).

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"Their offense, we just had trouble with," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "A lot of big innings and big numbers. I think our guys stayed with it. We had some opportunities there and got some big hits to get us back into the game. When you get as close we did there late, it makes you think about some of the runs we gave up along the way. So that's frustrating."

Right-hander Lance Lynn couldn't get through two innings, allowing seven runs on five hits and three walks with all eight runs coming in the second. He gave up a three-run homer to starting pitcher Jon Lester to start the rally, with Lester coming out for a curtain call after his second career homer.

"I wasn't happy," Lynn said bluntly.

Lynn served up run-scoring doubles to Anthony Rizzo, Javier Baez and Kyle Schwarber, before reliever Matt Magill allowed an inherited runner to score on an RBI single from Willson Contreras. It caused Lynn's ERA to rise from 4.81 to 5.49 on the year.

"We didn't want to go out the 'pen in the second inning given the shape of our bullpen," Molitor said. "But we had to do it."

Offensively, the Twins racked up nine hits and four runs (two earned) against Lester through five-plus innings, but it wasn't enough. Jake Cave hit a mammoth solo shot to center in the second and also connected on an RBI double as part of a two-run fifth. Catcher Mitch Garver also provided an RBI single that inning.

Video: MIN@CHC: Cave launches solo homer to open the scoring

Brian Dozier smacked a two-run shot in the sixth off reliever Steve Cishek and the Twins scored five times in the eighth against Dillon Maples with Logan Morrison dropping in an RBI single, Willians Astudillo bringing home two runs with a triple and Garver connecting on a two-run blast. It was again plenty of offense, but not enough pitching.

"That's disappointing," Dozier said. "But at the same time we've had a lot of games where the pitching has been good and we haven't been able to put up runs. Putting both of those two things together seems to be pretty tough to come by right now."

Video: MIN@CHC: Dozier clubs 2-run homer off Cishek in 6th

The Cubs continued to tack on runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings. Addison Russell had an RBI single in the fourth against Magill, Ian Happ connected on a solo shot off lefty Taylor Rogers in the fifth and David Bote added a sacrifice fly off Rogers in the sixth. Eduardo Escobar had a chance to tie it in the ninth with Eddie Rosario at second with two outs, but Escobar grounded out to first to end it.

"Rosie gave us an opportunity there with good baserunning," Molitor said. "We just couldn't get the last hit. So it's tough. Everyone's a little bit drained from the three days and the weather and getting beat around a little bit."

Video: MIN@CHC: Astudillo scores 2 with 1st career triple 

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Lynn doesn't cover first: After Lester's three-run homer with one out in the second, Lynn was unable to get to first in time on a grounder to first by Happ. It was ruled an infield single and sparked the rally, as Jason Heyward's groundout in the next at-bat would've ended the inning. Instead, the Cubs went on to score five more times.

"We gave them an extra out," Molitor said. "I think that was the biggest thing that stuck out to me. They kept adding on. Magill came in and we couldn't get off the field until they put up an eight. An offense like that, outs when you don't get them, that was problematic to me. The arithmetic says that was an extra five runs because of that particular play."

SOUND SMART
Lynn had faced a pitcher 295 times in his career without giving up a homer until Lester's three-run shot. He came into the game holding opposing pitchers to a .133/.169/.145 line with three doubles allowed.

Video: MIN@CHC: Lester belts 406-foot homer at 102.8 mph

HE SAID IT
"I wasn't out there long enough to know, truthfully." -- Lynn, on if the weather was a factor. The game-time temperature was 93 degrees with a heat index of 101

"They never quit. It does not surprise me with Mollie in the dugout. We were very fortunate to come out on top." -- Cubs manager Joe Maddon, on the Twins

UP NEXT
The Twins make the short trip to Milwaukee for a three-game series at Miller Park that starts on Monday at 7:10 p.m. CT. Right-hander Kyle Gibson (2-6, 3.48 ERA) will look to bounce back after giving up five runs on 11 hits over seven innings against the White Sox. Shortstop Jorge Polanco will also be reinstated after his 80-game suspension for the use of performance-enhancing drugs. Lefty Brent Suter (8-5, 4.28) starts for the Brewers.

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.

Minnesota Twins, Jake Cave, Brian Dozier, Mitch Garver, Lance Lynn