Capps blows first save, Twins drop fifth straight

Capps blows first save, Twins drop fifth straight

Capps blows first save, Twins drop fifth straight
MINNEAPOLIS -- In a season that hasn't produced many bright spots, closer Matt Capps' success -- especially in save situations -- had been one positive so far this year.

Capps entered Sunday's game against the Tigers a perfect 9-for-9 in those situations, but blew his first save on just one pitch to Miguel Cabrera.

The right-hander served up a two-run homer to Cabrera with one out in the ninth inning to hand the Twins a 4-3 loss to the Tigers in front of a soldout crowd at Target Field.

"There's nothing good about that," Capps said about blowing his first save. "You want to be 10-for-10. So from here on out, I'm going to try to let this be the last one. That's all you can do. This one just stinks right now."

It was a demoralizing loss for the Twins, who have lost five straight games and were swept for the sixth time this season.

It also dropped Minnesota to 4-8 against the American League Central and came after the Twins won both games in Detroit last week.

"After playing them well at Detroit, to come back and lay an egg like that, it's just not what we were trying to do," reliever Glen Perkins said. "We just need to get on the same page. We're a good enough team. We score enough runs. I just think we need to do a better job of preventing them."

To make matters worse, Cabrera's game-winning homer came on an 0-2 pitch from Capps, who said he threw a fastball instead of an offspeed pitch because Cabrera singled on an offspeed pitch in an 0-2 count against him on Friday.

"I faced him the other night and he beat me offspeed away so we were trying to go hard in," Capps said. "I didn't get it in there as well as I needed to."

The Twins made in interesting the ninth, as Denard Span singled and Josh Willingham walked with two outs but Justin Morneau flied out to right field against closer Jose Valverde to end the game.

"We had some chances there at the end," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We had some right guys up there but it just didn't work out for us. It's one of those knock the wind out of your sails [games]. So we're a little frustrated here in the clubhouse."

The defeat spoiled another quality start from right-hander P.J. Walters. Walters, fresh off his first career complete game, didn't pitch as deep into the game against Detroit, but was still effective, allowing two runs on seven hits over six strong innings. His lone problem was his control, as he walked five batters.

"It was one of those days where I was a little erratic," Walters said. "I was close to 50-50 on balls and strikes today. I was kind of all over the place today. That's a lineup that can burn you."

Both runs came in the first frame, as Cabrera opened the scoring with an RBI single to right field but was tagged out by Alexi Casilla while walking back to first base. Detroit scored the second run on a double-play groundout from Brennan Boesch, as Prince Fielder was caught in a rundown for the third out.

Walters pitched out of several jams, as he loaded the bases in the fourth before getting Don Kelly to ground into an inning-ending double play. It was more of the same in the fifth, when he loaded the bases again with two outs but struck out Boesch looking to escape any damage.

The Twins, meanwhile, didn't get on the board against right-hander Rick Porcello until the fourth inning. Ryan Doumit opened the inning with a double and came around to score on an RBI single from Casilla off Porcello's glove.

Minnesota took the lead with two runs in the fifth, when Ben Revere singled, stole second and scored on a double from Joe Mauer, who came around to score on a single from Willingham.

But the Twins couldn't tack on any more runs, as they left 11 men on base, including Casilla at third base with two outs in the eighth, as Quintin Berry made a sensational diving catch to rob Carroll of an RBI hit.

"He made a great catch that probably saved the game," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "I know he can run, he slaps the ball around pretty good. He can create some stuff for you. He's exciting."

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.