MINNEAPOLIS -- MINNEAPOLIS — It’s relatively rare these days to see Tyler Duffey give up runs. Or to see Sergio Romo serving up home runs. The Twins bullpen has been a bright spot in so many of their games this season.
Not on Sunday.
The bullpen faltered in the late innings, giving up eight runs as the Twins lost 10-8 to the Tigers on Sunday afternoon at Target Field. The loss snapped the Twins’ five-game winning streak and dropped them to 1½ games half behind the White Sox and a game behind Cleveland in the American League Central.
The Tigers pulled away in the top of the eighth inning with a Grayson Greiner home run off Romo. After Devin Smeltzer, who came in for Romo, walked the first batter he faced, Jonathan Schoop hit what Eddie Rosario thought was a ground-rule double.
The ball hit fair and then off the limestone in foul territory in left field.
Per Target Field ground rules, the ball was in play. Rosario, though, thought otherwise, and by the time he got the ball back in, a run had scored and Schoop was on third. The next batter, Miguel Cabrera, brought him home, making it a costly misplay for Rosario.
The bullpen’s struggles began after the Twins had appeared to have pulled away in the bottom of the fifth inning. They put some distance between themselves and the Tigers with a four-run inning, scoring the go-ahead run at the time with back-to-back doubles from Jorge Polanco and Luis Arraez.
After walks to Miguel Sano and Rosario, Brent Rooker laced a ball past a diving Sergio Alcantara at third base. Arraez and Sano scored, but Rosario blew past third-base coach’s Tony Diaz’s stop sign — nearly running over him — was thrown out trying to score. The Twins added another run later in the frame with a Jake Cave RBI single for a 6-2 lead.
And then the problems started.
May, for the fifth time this season, gave up a home run, a two-run shot by Willi Castro. A Greiner RBI single put them down just a run, forcing May out of the game.
Duffey, too, had some issues in his inning, giving up two runs (one earned) on three hits. Prior to Sunday, Duffey had only given up three runs all season. The home run off Romo and two runs off Smeltzer — all in the eighth — followed.
All of that happened after starter Rich Hill had given the Twins five solid innings. He gave up two runs and struck out five, putting his team in a position to win at the time of his departure.
Rosario, Rooker and Willians Astudillo each drove in two runs.