Twins allow 3 in 10th, unable to hold off Jays
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins continue to find new ways to lose games during their rough stretch since the Puerto Rico Series. Addison Reed couldn't hold a one-run lead in the eighth and John Curtiss gave up three runs in an ugly 10th inning, in which the Blue Jays scored two runs on wild pitches and another on a grounder that shortstop Gregorio Petit fumbled, to lose, 7-4, on Tuesday night at Target Field. It was Minnesota's 11th loss over the last 12 games, dropping the Twins to 9-16 on the season.
"We're kind of getting what we deserve in some ways," said manager Paul Molitor, who was clearly frustrated after the game. "We're not finding ways to play clean baseball. And it's been biting us big time. You can point to the some of the positive things going, but it seems like every time we make a mistake, it's compounded by two or three more."
Curtiss, who was recalled from Triple-A Rochester on Monday and optioned after the game to make room for Wednesday's starter Fernando Romero, immediately found himself in trouble, giving up a leadoff double to Kevin Pillar. It only got worse from there, with Pillar stealing third without a throw before Kendrys Morales stole second.
After Luke Maile walked to load the bases, Curtiss' first wild pitch allowed the go-ahead run with Aledmys Diaz at the plate. With the infield in, Diaz hit a grounder to Petit -- who was brought up from Rochester before the game -- who couldn't handle it for what was ruled as an RBI infield single. The third run came on the second wild pitch of the inning from Curtiss.
"He started to overthrow a little bit and spiked the slider," Molitor said. "It became challenging for him. Threw a couple wild pitches."
It spoiled a strong effort from Eddie Rosario, who snapped out of a recent funk to connect on an RBI double in the first inning and a go-ahead two-run homer in the sixth. After a solo homer from Joe Mauer -- his first of the season -- Rosario, who was hitting .200/.222/.314 with one homer over his previous nine games, hit a two-out RBI double in the first, before giving the Twins a lead with his two-run blast in the sixth to knock Blue Jays starter Marco Estrada from the game.
Toronto, though, tied it in the eighth against Reed, keyed by a leadoff walk from Justin Smoak and a double from Yangervis Solarte that preceded a sacrifice fly from Pillar.
"We got the big hit from Rosario," Molitor said. "But we couldn't hold on. Again."
Right-hander Kyle Gibson pitched well but racked up a high pitch count and was stuck with a no-decision, giving up two runs on five hits and two walks over five innings. He continued to show swing-and-miss stuff, striking out six while generating eight swings and misses. Gibson has now struck out 36 batters in 32 innings this year with a 3.38 ERA.
"Just kind of a battle the whole time really," Gibson said. "The fastball command was just not very good."
Gibson had a two-run lead heading into the fifth, but gave up a solo shot to Morales on a 3-1 fastball to open the inning. He also fell behind on a 3-1 count to the next batter, Maile, who singled to left and scored on a two-out broken bat bloop single from Smoak. Gibson, though, escaped a jam with runners at the corners by striking out Solarte on his 96th pitch of the night. It wasn't enough, however.
"It's been a tough stretch," Gibson said. "But I've said for the last few days, we've been in quite a few ballgames and whether it's a bounce here or a bounce there, it just really hasn't gone our way. Obviously we're feeling it a little bit, but we're still confident."
Twins center fielder Max Kepler saw his streak of 22 consecutive plate appearances without swinging and missing come to an end when he swung through a first-pitch changeup from Estrada in the fifth. Kepler hadn't swung and missed since facing Yankees lefty Jordan Montgomery in his second at-bat on April 26.
HE SAID IT
"These nights are tough. You've got to find a way to sort through it and replay it and mix in some rest if you can. Then come back as best you can and energize yourself and put together something you hope will work. We're putting a lot on this kid tomorrow who's trying to step up for us. I'm hoping my attitude is a little better in the morning than it is right now." -- Molitor, on the loss and Romero getting his first Major League start Wednesday
MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
The Twins were helped by replay in the ninth, as Diaz was initially ruled safe at first for a leadoff infield single to shortstop, but after a review, the call was overturned and Diaz was called out. Fernando Rodney went on to throw a scoreless inning.
Right-hander Romero, ranked as the Twins' No. 2 prospect by MLB Pipeline, will make his Major League debut in the series finale against the Blue Jays on Wednesday at 12:10 p.m. CT at Target Field. He posted a 2.57 ERA with 20 strikeouts and 10 walks in 21 innings with Triple-A Rochester. The Blue Jays counter with right-hander Marcus Stroman (0-3, 8.88 ERA). Second baseman James Dozier did not start Tuesday in a scheduled day off, but he will be back in the lineup Wednesday.