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Twins' bullpen falters in loss to Royals

The Royals used a six-run fourth inning to hand the Twins their third straight loss.
Rocco Baldelli

The Minnesota Twins dropped their third straight game on Saturday night as the Kansas City Royals used a six-run fourth inning to pick up a 9-6 victory.

The story of the game was the ineffectiveness of Twins pitchers as Jake Odorizzi made his first start of the season. Odorizzi was shaky, needing 26 pitches to get through the first inning and allowed a Ryan O'Hearn RBI single to give the Royals an early lead.

After a clean second inning, Odorizzi struggled again in the third, serving up a 440-foot blast to Jorge Soler to give the Royals a 2-0 lead. Odorizzi's night ended soon after needing 71 pitches to get through three innings.

The Twins struck back in the top of the fourth with a pair of home runs. Nelson Cruz led things off with a solo shot into the fountains at Kaufmann Stadium and Byron Buxton delivered a three-run blast to put the Twins ahead 4-2.

The bottom of the fourth was the Twins downfall however as Lewis Thorpe lasted six pitches, allowing a two-run home run to Nicky Lopez to tie the game at 4. Thorpe gave way to Cody Stashak, who served up Soler's second home run of the night and a solo shot to Salvador Perez to break the game open for Kansas City.

Down 8-4, the Twins tried to mount a comeback with a Buxton RBI single in the top of the sixth and a home run by Max Kepler to bring the game within 8-6.

But Sean Poppen allowed a run on a wild pitch in the top of the eighth and the Twins went quietly in the ninth to come up empty in Kansas City.

The Twins will try to avoid the sweep on Sunday as Jose Berrios (1-1, 4.80 ERA) will oppose Brady Singer (0-1, 4.80) with first pitch scheduled for 1:05 p.m.

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