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Twins fall to Cardinals again

ST. LOUIS -- Barely halfway through June, the Minnesota Twins must want this month to end as soon as possible. Tuesday's disappointment came in the form of a 3-2 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals at soggy Busch Stadium. In an afternoon game marred ...

ST. LOUIS - Barely halfway through June, the Minnesota Twins must want this month to end as soon as possible.
Tuesday’s disappointment came in the form of a 3-2 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals at soggy Busch Stadium.
In an afternoon game marred by two rain delays totaling 92 minutes, the Twins fell by an identical score to the one from the night before.
“It’s a tough loss because we had our chances,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said. “We couldn’t get the big hit when we needed it. St. Louis has a knack for finding a way to win these games.”
Against teams with losing records entering Tuesday, the Twins were 22-11. That computes a winning percentage of .667. Against winning teams, however, they are 12-19 (.387).
Further, the Twins are a combined 5-13 against their two main division rivals, the Kansas City Royals (3-6) and Detroit Tigers (2-7).
They did take two of three at home from both the Tampa Bay Rays and the Toronto Blue Jays, but they dropped a three-game series over the weekend on the road against the surging Texas Rangers.
Heading home after Tuesday’s loss, the Twins couldn’t avoid the fact that the first five games of this eight-game homestand will come against teams with winning records. All five will be interleague games: two against the Cardinals and three more against the Chicago Cubs.
Trevor Plouffe put the Twins on top with a two-out single off Cardinals starter Michael Wacha (9-2) in the first. That scored Brian Dozier, who singled and stole second.
Twins starter Kyle Gibson (4-5) worked the first six innings and turned in his first quality start since May 24 at Chicago. He gave up six hits with two walks and four strikeouts.
Yadier Molina opened the second for St. Louis with a double, moved up on a groundout and scored just ahead of Shane Robinson’s throw on Randal Grichuk’s sacrifice fly to left.
Mark Reynolds added a two-run single with two outs in the third to make it 3-1 for the Cardinals. Jhonny Peralta moved up both runners just before Reynolds’ hit with a productive groundout to first.
Gibson also helped his cause at the plate. His two-out single in the fifth ended a run of 12 straight Twins set down by Wacha.
The second rain delay of the afternoon chased Wacha in the top of the seventh after 86 pitches. Kurt Suzuki greeted reliever Seth Maness with a run-scoring double to pull the Twins within one.
Rookie Byron Buxton started the eighth for the Twins with an infield single on a sharp comebacker. Trying to move himself into scoring position, he was caught trying to steal second by perennial Gold Glove catcher Yadier Molina.
Torii Hunter singled to center on the next pitch, which likely would have tied the game had Buxton gotten a better jump on a wet track.
Cardinals closer Trevor Rosenthal (arm tightness) was unavailable once again, but left-hander Kevin Siegrist was able to record the save for a second straight day. Eduardo Nunez doubled with one out in the ninth, but the Twins could not advance him from there.

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