The Twins continued sliding out of contention in the AL Central by losing, 4-3 to the Royals at Target Field Friday night. On Tuesday the Twins were only 7.5 games out of first place, but three straight losses have dropped them 11 games behind the division-leading White Sox.
Luis Mendoza controlled the Twins to the tune of five hits and one run over eight strong innings. The Royals' starter had five 1-2-3 innings. On the opposite side Brian Duensing made his second start of the season for the Twins. He lasted just four innings, allowing three runs on eight hits.
The Royals didn't put together any big innings, but they scored one run in the first, second, fifth and seventh innings to slowly put the Twins away.
Ryan Doumit, who signed a two-year contract extension with the Twins earlier in the day, drove in the first run for Minnesota -- a run scoring single in the second inning.
Minnesota put together a big threat in the ninth inning, cutting the lead to one run on an RBI double by Joe Mauer and an RBI groundout by Josh Willingham. Trevor Plouffe popped out in foul territory with Mauer at third base to end the game.
Notes: Kyle Waldrop made his 2012 debut out of the Twins' bullpen. He pitched 1.1 scoreless innings, allowing one hit and one walk. Justin Morneau had two of the Twins' five hits. Joe Mauer extended his hitting streak to six games.