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Twins squander chance to gain ground in AL Central

The Cubs shut out the Twins 1-0 on Friday night, leaving them three games back in the division.
Rocco Baldelli

The Minnesota Twins had an opportunity to gain ground on the Chicago White Sox in the American League Central standings on Friday night, but couldn't get their offense going in a 1-0 loss to the Chicago Cubs.

Friday's game turned out to be a pitching duel as the Cubs sent Kyle Hendricks to the mound to oppose Rich Hill. While the Twins came in with a formidable lineup, Hendricks was able to silence the Minnesota bats. 

The right-hander threw eight shutout innings allowing three hits and striking out 10 batters, putting the pressure on Hill to have a dominating performance.

Hill lived up to his half of the bargain outside of the first inning. While struggling with his control, he allowed an RBI single to Wilson Contreras in the opening frame that was the only run of the game. 

Outside of the run, Hill produced his best start of the season, holding the Cubs to one run over seven innings allowing three hits, a walk, and striking out five.

The Twins attempted to mount a rally in the ninth inning, but Jeremy Jeffress struck out Eddie Rosario to take the opening game of the series.

The loss comes at a bad time for the Twins as they looked to gain ground after the White Sox lost 7-1 to the Cincinnati Reds. Now three games back with seven to play, the Twins will send Michael Pineda to the mound on Saturday night against Alex Mills in the second game of the series.

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