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Twins strand 14 runners in 4-1 loss to Royals

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A first inning error and lack of clutch hitting doomed the Twins as they lost in Kansas City, 4-1 Wednesday night.

Minnesota got off to a good start, scoring the first run of the game on a Josh Willingham run-scoring single in the first inning.

The lead quickly vanished in the bottom of the inning.

P.J. Walters, with one out, got Eric Hosmer to hit a routine ground ball to short, but Pedro Florimon bobbled it and threw wildly to first for an error, allowing Hosmer to advance to second base.

The error opened the flood gates and the Royals scored three unearned runs off Walters, highlighted by a two-run double off the bat of David Lough.

Walters took the loss, giving up the three unearned runs on seven hits and three walks over six innings.

Offensively, the Twins had eight hits, but left the bases loaded in the first and seventh innings, and never came up with a clutch hit when needed.

They went 0-11 with runners in scoring position and left 14 men on base.

The win snapped an 11-game home losing streak for the Royals.

Minnesota remains 4 1/2 games out of first place in the American League Central division.

Note: With two more shutout innings, the Twins' bullpen has now allowed just four runs in the last 39 1/3 innings. Thursday night's game starts at 7:10 p.m. CT -- Mike Pelfrey opposes Wade Davis.

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