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Bats, Berrios scuffle in Twins' 5th straight loss

MLB.com @RhettBollinger

NEW YORK -- Not even a red-hot Jose Berrios could halt the Twins' losing streak and struggles at Yankee Stadium, as the right-hander scuffled through four-plus innings in an 8-3 loss that extended Minnesota's losing streak to five games on Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium.

Berrios, who entered having thrown at least seven scoreless innings in three of his four starts and had walked just one batter this year, didn't have his best stuff against the Yankees, surrendering five runs on six hits and two walks while striking out seven.

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NEW YORK -- Not even a red-hot Jose Berrios could halt the Twins' losing streak and struggles at Yankee Stadium, as the right-hander scuffled through four-plus innings in an 8-3 loss that extended Minnesota's losing streak to five games on Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium.

Berrios, who entered having thrown at least seven scoreless innings in three of his four starts and had walked just one batter this year, didn't have his best stuff against the Yankees, surrendering five runs on six hits and two walks while striking out seven.

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Berrios tried to locate his two-seamers to both sides of the plate, but the Yankees were patient, and he didn't get the calls he'd hoped for.

"I felt good out there overall," Berrios said through a translator. "At the end of the day, we had a game plan, and I executed it, but they executed it better. They were very careful at what they were swinging at, very selective."

Berrios served up an opposite-field homer to Gary Sanchez in the second before allowing a go-ahead RBI single to Didi Gregorius in the third. He was hurt by a wild pitch on a strikeout and an error from catcher Mitch Garver in the fourth, with Gleyber Torres cashing in a run on a single for his first career RBI. Berrios was knocked from the game in the fifth on a two-run homer from Gregorius.

"Jose wasn't as good as we've seen him," manager Paul Molitor said. "He battled fairly well and minimized until Gregorius' homer. But everything is magnified when you're not swinging the bats well. You can't hold them down, and you can't score. It's been a bad combination. It's put us in a little bit of a funk here."

Minnesota's bats remained cold and didn't help Berrios despite scoring an early run against lefty CC Sabathia. Miguel Sano walked in the first and scored on a double from Eduardo Escobar, with right fielder Aaron Judge charged with an error on the play. Sabathia scattered two hits and a walk over six innings. The Twins didn't score again until the seventh, keyed by an error from Torres on a throw to first from Sanchez. Escobar went 3-for-3 and added an RBI double in the eighth.

Video: MIN@NYY: Escobar drives in Kepler with an RBI double

"You look for ways to improve and try to get back on track," Molitor said. "There's no magic in this game. You talk about the peaks and valleys you have to endure. We've been tested here early, but we just have to find a way to respond. You just know when you're going through these things. You can feel it, and you have to try to find a way to turn it around."

Twins second baseman Brian Dozier saw his club-record 17-game hitting streak to open the season come to an end by going 0-for-4. The hit streak was 24 games going back to last season.

"Couldn't care less about the streak," Dozier said. "Sometimes it rains. Sometimes you lose five in a row. The beautiful thing about it is, we play tomorrow."

Much like in Monday's 14-1 loss, the Yankees put away the game late with power, with Judge hitting a solo homer and Sanchez smacking a two-run blast off reliever Tyler Duffey in the seventh.

Video: MIN@NYY: Molitor discusses Berrios' outing in loss

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Twins can't capitalize: Minnesota made it interesting against reliever Dellin Betances in the seventh after a leadoff walk from Escobar, a throwing error from Betances on a pickoff throw and a one-out single from Garver to right. Escobar was held at third on the throw home, but Garver made too big of a turn at first and Sanchez tried to throw him out, but Torres missed the throw. That allowed Escobar to score, and Betances promptly walked Logan Morrison to bring up the potential tying run. But reliever David Robertson came in and struck out Ehire Adrianza and got pinch-hitter Joe Mauer to ground out to escape the jam.

Video: MIN@NYY: Escobar scores on Sanchez's error

SOUND SMART
The Yankees improved to 27-9 against the Twins, including the postseason, at the current Yankee Stadium, which opened in 2009.

HE SAID IT
"Offensively, we might be pressing a little bit too much. When you get in little funks as a complete unit or individually, you try to do too much. You try to hit a three-run homer with nobody on base. You try to explode in one kind of swing. We've got to get back to our basics of getting on base." -- Dozier

UP NEXT
After being held out of the lineup against lefty Sabathia, Mauer will start against Yankees right-hander Sonny Gray on Wednesday at Yankee Stadium at 5:35 p.m. CT. Right-hander Lance Lynn gets the start looking for his first win of the season. Lynn has struggled this year, with a 6.00 ERA in three starts, and gave up five runs in six innings against the Rays last time out.

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

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