MINNEAPOLIS -- The homers keep coming for the Twins, who had Miguel Sano and Brian Dozier keep up their torrid power production against the Royals on Friday, but the losses keep mounting this week as well.
Minnesota's offense has been one of the hottest in baseball, keyed by a Major League-leading 27 homers since June 26, but a rough week for the pitching staff continued in a 7-3 loss to Kansas City at Target Field. It handed the Twins their fourth straight loss, and despite hitting seven homers in those games, they've been outscored by a 39-17 margin.
Twins manager Paul Molitor said he's been happy to see the power surge continue, but added his club needed to find other ways to score runs, as the Twins have hit .200 (7-for-35) with runners in scoring position during their losing streak.
"It's unfortunate that's been the majority of our output there," Molitor said. "With runners in scoring position and those opportunities are areas that still need improvement. We like the home runs and they play, for sure, but we need to find other ways to score."
All three runs on Friday came via homers, as Sano got the Twins on the board with a solo shot off Royals right-hander Yordano Ventura in the second. Sano, who hit 18 homers as a rookie last year, already has 20 this season and has hit five homers over his last seven games.
An inning later, Dozier gave the Twins a one-run lead in the third with a two-run blast off Ventura for his seventh homer over his last 13 games. It was his team-leading 24th of the year.
"[Sano] joined the 20-club for the first time, which is worth noting and Dozier has been on a tear," Molitor said. "He did a nice job staying on a changeup there."
The Twins have a total of 140 homers on the year in 116 games, which puts them on pace for 195. That would be the fifth-highest total in franchise history and their most since clubbing 196 in 1987. Molitor, though, said the club's propensity to hit for power hasn't altered the way he's managed.
"It doesn't change too much for me," Molitor said. "You can't count on that. We need to find ways to manufacture runs for the most part."
Aside from the homers, the Twins struggled against Ventura, as the hard-throwing right-hander went seven innings, allowing three runs on four hits and a walk with nine strikeouts.
"He's upper-end in terms of velocity," Molitor said. "We caught him on a good night. It seemed like he waited until his 90th pitch to hit 100 [mph]. He was tough. We couldn't lay off his breaking ball with two strikes and he had plenty of velocity."