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Twins miss chance in 9th inning, Angels don't

Minnesota wraps 7-3 road trip; Romero's scoreless streak ends
May 13, 2018

ANAHEIM -- The Twins found themselves on the wrong side of a heartbreaker on Sunday, losing on a walk-off RBI single from Zack Cozart in the ninth inning of a 2-1 loss to the Angels in the series finale that saw the teams split the four-game set at Angel Stadium.After

ANAHEIM -- The Twins found themselves on the wrong side of a heartbreaker on Sunday, losing on a walk-off RBI single from Zack Cozart in the ninth inning of a 2-1 loss to the Angels in the series finale that saw the teams split the four-game set at Angel Stadium.
After Ehire Adrianza was thrown out at home and the Twins couldn't score with the bases loaded in the top of the inning, reliever Zach Duke came in and plunked Chris Young with an 0-2 curveball to put the leadoff hitter aboard. After a sacrifice bunt from Martin Maldonado, Cozart ripped a single that left fielder Eddie Rosario was unable to field cleanly for a throw home. It marked the sixth time the Twins have lost via a walk-off this season, and they finished their road trip with a 7-3 record.
"It was a good series and very competitive, and we talked about how tough it is to win those close games against tough teams on the road, but we almost did it three times in a row," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "It was well-pitched on both sides."

The Twins missed on a prime scoring opportunity in the ninth, when Robbie Grossman doubled into the right-center gap but Adrianza was thrown out trying to score from first base. Adrianza, who was running on the play, hesitated near second base to make sure the ball wasn't caught, and the Angels executed a great relay to nab him at home. Minnesota loaded the bases with two outs, but James Dozier popped out to third to end the inning.
"It was a big play because we needed that run to win the game," Adrianza said. "It happens. They made a perfect relay. I saw Chris Young go back, and once he turned, I started to go."
The offense struggled, as right-hander Shohei Ohtani lived up to his billing, striking out 11 and allowing three hits through 6 1/3 innings. But the Twins scratched across a run in the seventh after Ohtani issued a one-out walk to Logan Morrison. He was the Twins' lone player to have success against Ohtani, going 2-for-2 with a walk against him.

"He was really good," Morrison said. "I think he's doing something that nobody has probably ever done and it might be a long time before you see it again. There's another guy in that clubhouse who is a really good player, but to me, with what [Ohtani] does on the mound and with the bat, he's probably the best player in the world."
Reliever Cam Bedrosian gave up a one-out single to Grossman before the Twins turned to Joe Mauer as a pinch-hitter. Mauer delivered with a game-tying single to right on a 1-2 slider with Ohtani charged the run. The Twins had two runners in scoring position with two outs, but Dozier grounded out to end the threat.

Rookie right-hander Fernando Romero continued the strong start to his career, allowing one run on four hits and three walks with six strikeouts over five innings. He has a 0.54 ERA through three starts.
Romero saw his streak of 15 2/3 scoreless innings come to an end in the fifth. Romero allowed a double to Maldonado and an infield single to Cozart to put runners at the corners with nobody out. Romero nearly got out of the jam, striking out Kole Calhoun and getting Justin Upton to ground into a potential double play to third, but Upton beat it out to score the game's first run.
"I relied on my slider because I could throw it for a strike today," Romero said. "My fastball command was OK, but I'm trying for it to get better."

Romero's scoreless-innings streak to open his career is the third-longest in Twins history. The record is 19 2/3 by reliever Caleb Thielbar in 2013, while starter Andrew Albers went 17 1/3 scoreless to start his career, also in '13. Romero is ranked as the Twins' No. 2 prospect by MLB Pipeline.
"You've got to look at as a big picture. This was a good road trip for us. We need to keep building on it. I've been throwing the ball well myself, besides today. We've just got to stay where we're at and playing good ball." -- Duke, who had a streak of 13 scoreless outings snapped
The play at the plate in the ninth inning was challenged by the Twins, but after a review, replay confirmed that Adrianza was out at home on the throw from Kinsler. Adrianza admitted after the game that the correct call was made.
"He got me," Adrianza said. "I was out, for sure."
Mauer and center fielder Byron Buxton will return to the starting lineup Monday when the Twins host the Mariners in a makeup game at Target Field at 6:10 p.m. CT. Right-hander Jake Odorizzi (3-2, 3.83 ERA) starts for Minnesota, while lefty Wade LeBlanc (0-0, 3.18) takes the mound for Seattle. Odorizzi is coming off a solid start against the Cardinals, allowing one run on two hits over five innings.

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