MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Twins knew there were going to be some bumps in the road when they started using catcher Ryan Doumit in left field as a way to keep his big bat in the lineup.
They hit a pretty big one in the eighth inning on Wednesday night.
Doumit committed three errors in Kansas City's four-run inning, helping the Royals turn a tight game into a 10-5 victory.
“I'm going to have days like this,” Doumit said. “It's part of the learning curve. It's part of all that. It's embarrassing, but I'm going to learn from it and go out and get ‘em tomorrow.”
P.J. Walters (2-4) gave up six runs on seven hits in four innings for the Twins, who were missing star catcher Joe Mauer for the second straight game with back spasms. But they trailed just 6-5 heading into the eighth inning.
Doumit has played fairly well in his limited time in left field, enough to please both manager Ron Gardenhire and GM Terry Ryan. But the acclimation turned ugly in the eighth when he dropped a fly ball from Johnny Giavotella after a long run to the gap, then booted a hard-hit single by Alcides Escobar that allowed a run to score. Doumit's throw also allowed two runners to advance, giving him a third error in the inning.
“A tough inning for him, but he's actually been playing pretty good out there,” Gardenhire said. “A catcher by position out playing other positions, he's handled himself pretty good. Tonight was a little rough out there, the one inning. But we'll keep running him out there. He gives us everything he has.”
It was the second time this season, and fourth since 2010, that a player has committed three errors in one inning, according to STATS LLC. Oakland first baseman Brandon Moss did it in the sixth against San Francisco on June 23.
“Tonight was just one of those nights,” Doumit said. “I took my eye off the ball. When you take your eye off the ball, bad things happen.”
It was another one of those nights for Walters as well.
He breezed through the first three innings before Perez hit a solo homer in the fourth and the Royals crushed him in the fifth. Butler's two-run single gave Kansas City a 5-3 lead and chased Walters, and Lorenzo Cain capped the inning with an RBI-single off of Anthony Swarzak to make it 6-3.
“Just bad pitching,” Walters said.
Denard Span had three hits, including a leadoff triple, in his first game in more than two weeks because of a sprained right shoulder. Jamey Carroll drove in three runs, two on a single in the fifth that cut the lead to 6-5.
But the Royals sent nine men to the plate in the eighth to pull away, with Billy Butler and Salvador Perez, who also hit a solo homer, coming through with run-scoring singles. Butler had three hits and three RBIs.
Luke Hochevar (8-13) won for the first time in eight starts, but he gave up five runs on six hits with four walks and four strikeouts in five innings. Tim Collins pitched two innings before Kevin Herrera and Francisley Bueno finished the game.
Doumit said he feels “extremely comfortable” in left field and looks forward to getting more chances in the unfamiliar territory to get himself ready for next season.
“Obviously routine plays like that have to be made. But plays like that happen,” he said. “Stuff like that happens. Unfortunately, that probably won't be the last time, but what can you do?”
NOTES: Carroll has a career-high 10-game hitting streak. ... Twins RHP Cole De Vries will have an MRI exam on his sore ribs Thursday. His scheduled start has been tentatively pushed back from Friday to Sunday, pending the outcome of the test. ... The temperature at first pitch Tuesday night was 93 degrees. A day later, it was 58. ... RHP Liam Hendriks (0-7, 6.20 ERA) will pitch the series finale for the Twins against RHP Luis Mendoza (7-9, 4.63). Hendriks is still looking for his first big league win. He carries an 0-9 career record into the start. Mendoza served up three homers to the White Sox in his last start.