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Royals swept by Twins, fall short in bid for 1st road win of season

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MINNEAPOLIS — The Kansas City Royals were close to getting their first road win of the season.

But the Twins scored two unearned runs in the eighth inning and rallied for a 4-3 victory on Sunday.

With the bases loaded and one out, Chris Herrmann's comebacker was fielded by Wade Davis, who threw wide to the plate to allow the tying run to score.

Davis was late getting back to the plate, and Brian Dozier slid under the tag for the go-ahead run.

"We had the win right there staring us in the face, and it just didn't happen," said Davis, who said a bad grip on the ball led to his throw sailing to the backstop.

Noticing Davis' reaction, Dozier never broke stride.

"Most definitely," Dozier said. "When you look up and you round the base and you see that nobody is covering home, you gotta be aggressive."

The loss ruined a comeback by the Royals, who scored three runs in the eighth inning after the Twins took the lead on Josmil Pinto's two-run homer in the seventh.

It also spoiled a third straight quality start by the Royals' Jason Vargas, who has a win and two no-decisions.

PHOTO: Minnesota Twins’ Brian Dozier, left front, looks back as home plate umpire Laz Diaz, back left, makes the safe call while Kansas City Royals pitcher Wade Davis looks for the call during the ninth inning of a baseball game in Minneapolis, Sunday, April 13, 2014. Minnesota won 4-3. (AP Photo/Tom Olmscheid)
Minnesota Twins’ Brian Dozier, left front, looks back as home plate umpire Laz Diaz, back left, makes the safe call while Kansas City Royals pitcher Wade Davis looks for the call during the ninth inning of a baseball game in Minneapolis, Sunday, April 13, 2014. Minnesota won 4-3. (AP Photo/Tom Olmscheid)

Eric Hosmer's double to the center field wall scored Nori Aoki to give the Royals a 3-2 lead.

But Kansas City's bullpen couldn't hold the lead, walking three before Davis' throwing error.

"I got frustrated," Davis said. "It's unacceptable. Had the play right there in front of me, just didn't make it."

Aaron Crow (0-1) walked two and was charged with two unearned runs and was the losing pitcher for Kansas City, which has lost four of five going into Monday's day off.

The Royals start a three-game series at Houston on Tuesday.

Casey Fien (1-0) got one out for the win in relief of starting pitcher Kevin Correia, and Glen Perkins earned his third save.

The Royals have lost their first five road games this season, scoring just nine runs. Kansas City was outscored 21-5 in the sweep at Target Field.

Pinto's homer was his third of the year.

Correia cruised through seven innings before running into trouble in the eighth. He allowed three runs and six hits in seven innings.

Jason Vargas held the Twins to two runs and five hits over seven innings.

NOTES: The Twins swept the Royals for the first time since winning four in a row in June 2011. ... A CT scan revealed a small fracture in LF Josh Willingham's hand. Twins assistant GM Rob Antony said the team will consult hand specialists, but remains hopeful that Willingham won't need more than 15 days on the disabled list. ... Both teams are off on Monday. In their series opener on Tuesday in Houston, hard-throwing rookie Yordano Ventura will make his second start for the Royals against RHP Lucas Harrell (0-2, 11.05). ... The Twins begin a three-game series at Target Field with Toronto on Tuesday. RHP Phil Hughes will look for his first win with the Twins against RHP Brandon Morrow (1-1, 5.73).

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