A three-run first inning was all the Twins got in a 7-3 loss in Kansas City Thursday night.
The damage was done in the bottom of the eighth against Minnesota reliever Jared Burton, who gave up four runs, including a long two-run homer to Lorenzo Cain.
The Twins' bullpen had given up just four runs total in their last 39 1/3 innings. Burton had allowed just six runs in 27 appearances before Thursday night.
Jamey Carroll, who reached on a throwing error by Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas, scored from third on a wild pitch for the first run of the game. Two batters later, the red-hot Ryan Doumit hit a hanging curve over the right-center field fence for a two-run homer -- his eighth of the year.
Kansas City got to Twins' starter Mike Pelfrey with pair of runs in the second inning, coming on a two-run single from Chris Getz.
They tied the game at three on a run-scoring single from Salvador Perez in the sixth.
The Twins once again struggled with runners on the basepaths. They left the bases loaded in the third inning, runners at first and second in the fourth, and runners at first and third in the fifth.
In all, they were 1-10 with runners in scoring position.
The loss, combined with a Tigers win, puts the Twins 5 1/2 games behind Detroit for the AL Central lead.