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Playoff hopes gone as Twins lose to Royals 5-1

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Facing a must-win weekend series, the Twins weren't quite up to the challenge as they lost their second straight game to the Royals and took themselves out of the running for a wild card playoff spot.

The Twins 5-1 loss at Target Field Saturday afternoon - on the second-to-last game of the season - followed their Friday night defeat, and left them looking forward to next year.

Tommy Milone pitched six strong innings for the Twins, and left the game with the score tied at 1-1. But the Royals took advantage of Minnesota's bullpen and two fielding errors to score four runs in the top of the seventh and put the game out of reach, according to MLB.com.

Entering this last weekend of the season, Twins fans were hoping the stars would align and their team could capture the last AL wild-card playoff spot. There were several scenarios that could have brought that about, but they all required Minnesota to win its last three games.

With the two losses to the Royals, that's not going to happen.

Still, given how poorly the Twins have performed the past few years - with four consecutive seasons with 90-plus losses - many people consider this season a success, the Star Tribune notes. The Twins will finish with at least 83 wins.

The Royals took a half-game lead over Toronto for home-field advantage through the postseason. The Blue Jays, who hold the tiebreaker with a 4-3 edge in the season series, face the Rays on Saturday evening.

The two teams play again Sunday afternoon, in the last game of the regular season.

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