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Updated: September 12th, 2012 10:36pm
Walters bounced early, Doumit makes three errors in 8th as Twins lose

Walters bounced early, Doumit makes three errors in 8th as Twins lose

by Phil Mackey
1500ESPN.com
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Poor pitching and defense plagued the Minnesota Twins in a 10-5 loss to the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday night at Target Field.

The skinny

The Twins carried a 3-0 lead into the fourth inning, and right-hander P.J. Walters was cruising along just fine until then.

But Royals' stud young catcher Salvador Perez took Walters deep for a solo homer in the top of the fourth inning, and Kansas City then opened the flood gates in the fifth with six consecutive batters reaching base to start the inning. Eric Hosmer walked, Johnny Giavotella singled and David Lough singled to load the bases with nobody out. Alcides Escobar singled to right to drive home Hosmer, and Alex Gordon followed with a broken-bat single to left field to tie the game, 3-3.

Billy Butler then ripped a 3-1 pitch off the wall in left field for a long single to score two and knock Walters out of the game.

"He just couldn't get anybody out," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He walked the leadoff guy, and then you go from there. He started getting the ball up, and a couple of broken bats, but they were all hits. It doesn't matter. He couldn't get an out."

Anthony Swarzak came on in relief and gave up an RBI single to Lorenzo Cain to put the Royals up 6-3 and close the book on Walters, who was charged with six earned runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out three in just four-plus innings.

Jamey Carroll, batting sixth, led the charge offensively for the Twins, driving in a run with a sac fly in the third and two more with a two-out single in the fifth.

The Twins had a chance to break the game open in the bottom of the third inning, loading the bases with one out against right-hander Luke Hochevar, but they couldn't take full advantage. Hochevar walked Ryan Doumit to put the Twins up 2-0. But after Doumit, the Twins were only able to scratch across one more run on Carroll's sac fly.

Denard Span tripled in his first at-bat off the disabled list. He also singled twice and scored twice.

Turning point

Wednesday was just Doumit's 15th career game in left field, and his inexperience was noticeable in an eighth inning where he committed three errors that led to multiple runs for the Royals.

With the Twins trailing 6-5 at the time, Doumit, on the run, saw a fly ball by Giavotella glance off his glove in left-center, putting runners on first and second with nobody out. Two batters later, Escobar's base hit to left bounced off Doumit's glove as he attempted to field it. This allowed Hosmer to come home from third base to make it 7-5. Doumit's throw tailed several feet wide of home plate, allowing Giavotella to move to third base.

"Tonight was just one of those nights," Doumit said. "I took my eye off the ball. When you take your eye off the ball, bad things happen. The other one, ball kind of came up on me. I'm going to have days like this. It's part of the learning curve. It's part of all that. It's embarrassing, but I'm going to learn from it and go out and get em tomorrow."

The Royals went on to score three more runs in the inning, pushing the lead to 10-5.

"It's not an easy play, the one all the way to the wall in left-center field," Gardenhire said. "That's not an easy play. But he can make that play, and he just missed the ball. The other one, the base hit, he rushed it. And then on top of it you try to rush your throw too, and the ball goes flying. A tough inning for him. But he's actually been playing pretty good out there. You've got a catcher by position out playing other positions. He's handled himself pretty good. Tonight was a little bit rough out there, the one inning."

Numbers game

14: Hits by the Royals.

10: Consecutive games with a hit for Carroll, which marks a new career high.

9/3/1973: The last time a Twins player made three errors in one inning -- shortstop Danny Thompson in a game at Kansas City.

Health report

C Joe Mauer was sidelined once again with back spasms. He's considered day-to-day.

On deck

Thursday: vs. Royals, 7:10 p.m. RHP Liam Hendriks (0-7, 6.20) vs. RHP Luis Mendoza (7-9, 4.63)

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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