KANSAS CITY -- Just when it looked as if it couldn't get any worse for the Twins after an 0-5 start to the season, they lost in even more heartbreaking fashion Sunday. They were three outs away from their first win, only to see closer Glen Perkins blow his first save chance in an eventual 4-3 loss to the Royals in 10 innings.
Perkins, who converted his first 28 save opportunities last year, couldn't hold a two-run lead. After a one-out single by Lorenzo Cain, Perkins got Eric Hosmer down 0-2 in the count, but he left a 93 mph fastball over the plate, and Hosmer lifted it into the left-field corner. Eddie Rosario tried to make a diving catch and just missed it, allowing Hosmer to reach on an RBI triple and later tie the score when he came home on a sacrifice fly by Kendrys Morales.
"I didn't make the pitches," said Perkins, whose velocity is down compared to last year. "I had Hosmer 0-2, I had Kendrys Morales 0-2. I just couldn't make the pitches to get guys out. It has nothing to do with Rosario."
Nolasco, Twins come up short against Royals
It was even uglier in the 10th, as Trevor May walked leadoff hitter Christian Colon on four pitches and allowed pinch-runner Terrence Gore to reach third on an errant pickoff throw to first. And the winning run came with two outs on a wild pitch by May on a 2-2 count on Cain.
"We're going home 0-6, and it stares at you right in the face," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "You're hoping with the way our year went last year, our Spring Training, the guys we have expectations for and all that, that we'd get off to a better start. But we have to take a step back and gain some perspective. A couple games go your way, and it's a different feeling than 0-6. But today was tough."
It spoiled a strong outing by Ricky Nolasco, who tossed seven sterling innings, allowing one run on a solo homer by Mike Moustakas. It was one of his better outings in three seasons with the Twins, but it was all for naught.
"We needed that one," Nolasco said. "It's tough to swallow. But it's a long season. We'll go back to Minnesota and try to get on a roll and win some ballgames. Hopefully, we can win the series against the White Sox and get it going. We're a better team than we're showing."
The Twins have an uphill battle now, as only the 1974 Pirates, 1995 Reds and 2011 Rays have climbed out of an 0-6 hole to make the postseason. Their bullpen, which was considered their biggest weakness entering the year, has also struggled in the early going.
"They're all tough," Perkins said. "Our bullpen has lost a couple games this road trip. For me personally, I just wanted to get the first one out of the way, and I didn't get the job done. So that stings."
Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.