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Updated: September 27th, 2010 11:27pm
Twins lose 10-8 to Kansas City, miss opportunity to gain ground in AL

Twins lose 10-8 to Kansas City, miss opportunity to gain ground in AL

by Phil Mackey
1500ESPN.com
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With a 10-8 loss to the Kansas City Royals on Monday night, the Minnesota Twins dropped their fourth consecutive game, matching a season-long.

Even worse, the Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees both lost on Monday night as well, leaving the American League home-field advantage race to look like this:

Tampa Bay (93-63)
New York (93-64) .5 GB
Minnesota (92-64) 1 GB

To add injury to insult, the Twins are dealing with a plethora of banged up players right now, and Kevin Slowey offered up his worst outing of the season on Monday night, allowing six earned runs in only 1 2/3 innings.

After the game, manager Ron Gardenhire told reporters,"We didn't pitch worth a crap. We haven't pitched worth a crap this whole trip. It's not acceptable.

"We have to get better, we have to do better. You can't lose the edge, and it starts with the pitching."

Monday was likely Slowey's last start of the regular season, and there's a good chance he is in a battle with Scott Baker for the Twins' long relief role on the post-season roster.

Four consecutive losses entering the final week of the regular season isn't exactly ideal, but the Twins are missing multiple key pieces -- Jim Thome (back), Joe Mauer (knee) and J.J. Hardy (knee).

Health is the number one priority over the next six days. But finding a way to play good, top-notch baseball is a close second.

Both are necessary to beat the Rays and/or Yankees.

Phil Mackey is a columnist for 1500ESPN.com. He co-hosts "Mackey & Judd" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Phil | @PhilMackey | Mackey & Judd
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