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Twins commit 3 errors in loss

Kansas City's Mike Moustakas advances to second as Minnesota second baseman Matt Tolbert reaches for an errant throw from shortstop Trevor Plouffe during the fourth inning of Wednesday's game. Associated Press

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- The Minnesota Twins have been one of the better defensive teams in the American League.

That's not the case this year, however, as the Twins committed three errors Wednesday in a 7-3 loss to the Kansas City Royals. They made five errors in losing both games at Kauffman Stadium.

"It's the same thing we've been saying every time," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "If you're going to throw the ball, you've got to catch the ball. We're not getting outs we should and we missed some chances to score. We had, I think, three errors. We could have had five. We go out and work, work, work, but we're still booting the ball."

The Twins ranked second in the AL last year with a .987 fielding percentage and 78 errors. This season they have a .980 fielding percentage and have 110 errors. Only Oakland with 117 has more errors than the Twins in the AL.

Rookie shortstop Trevor Plouffe made two errors - one throwing and one fielding - in the Wednesday defeat to bring his total to 10 errors in 67 games.

"I work hard at it and days like this happen," Plouffe said. "I don't like having days like this, but it happens. And with the season we're having, it's magnified. I feel terrible. It stinks. I don't like this. I'll take early work tomorrow and I hope I can do better."

The Twins scored 10 runs and committed seven errors on the 0-5 trip to Detroit and Kansas City.

"It's starting to get painful to watch," Gardenhire said. "We're working, working, working, and booting the ball around, so we don't get anything from it. We've got to get away from that."

Mike Moustakas had three hits and drove in two runs and Luke Hochevar, who was battling the flu, pitched six solid innings to help the Royals beat the Twins.

The Royals have won four straight, matching the longest winning streak of the season, while the Twins have lost 19 of 23 and are in last place in the AL Central after winning the division the past two years. Moustakas drove in runs in the second and fourth inning with singles. He doubled and scored in the two-run sixth inning.

Hochevar (11-11) gave up two runs on five hits in six innings. He improved to 6-3 in 12 starts since the All-Star break.

Jeff Francoeur also had three hits and scored two runs. Eric Hosmer, Francoeur and Moustakas -- the Royals' fourth, five and sixth hitters -- went a combined 8-for-12 and scored five runs.

Liam Hendricks (0-2), who was making his second big league, was roughed up for five runs on eight hits in five innings. Hendricks was 12-6 with a 3.36 ERA in the minors before his Sept. 6 promotion. Danny Valencia, Jason Kubel and Michael Cuddyer had the Twins' RBIs. Cuddyer had two hits and walked with the bases loaded in the seventh.

Span unsure

if he will return

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Minnesota Twins outfielder Denard Span says the dizziness still "comes and goes" and he has a lower energy level from a concussion suffered June 3 and is unsure if he will return this season.

Span, who is taking batting practice and doing on-the-field drills, said Wednesday he would like to play in a few games before the season ends to "build some confidence" going into the offseason.

Span did return for nine games in early August, but went back on the disabled list with migraine symptoms. He has been limited to 65 games and is hitting .263.