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Twins go cold at the plate, lose to Houston 4-1

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The Twins struggled at the plate against Houston's Mike Fiers, only mustering one run on five hits in a 4-1 loss at a sold-out Target Field Saturday night.

Fiers allowed only three hits and one run in six-plus innings, while Twins starter Mike Pelfrey struggled. Pelfrey lasted just 3 2/3 innings, giving up four runs on seven hits and two walks, MLB.com reports.

The bulk of the action came in the fourth inning, when Houston scored three runs on four hits.

The Twins couldn't get anything going at the plate; they were 1-for-14 with runners in scoring position and left seven runners on base.

Their only score came in the fourth inning, when the bases were loaded and Trevor Plouffe drove in a run as he hit a grounder into a double play. Eddie Rosario then popped up to second to end the inning, MLB.com notes.

Minnesota also had chances in the seventh and eighth innings, when they had the tying run at the plate. But they but couldn't score.

It was only the Twins' second loss in the last eight games.

One bright spot is the Twins' bullpen. Blaine Boyer, Neal Cotts, Casey Fien and Brian Duensing combined to hold the Astros scoreless the rest of the way.

One area of concern: Neither of the Twins' two youngsters, Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano, managed a hit in the game. Sano sat out Friday night's game with a sore hamstring.

Buxton is 0 for 11 in his last three games, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

Defensively he did much better, making two running catches in center field in the first two innings.

The series wraps up Sunday afternoon at Target Field. Right-hander Ervin Santana starts for the Twins.

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