MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - With two on and two outs in the seventh inning, Philadelphia third baseman Mike Fontenot tracked a soft popup near the seats in foul territory to get the Phillies out of the inning.
Just as he was reaching up to make the catch, a young kid's glove came over the top and snatched it away. Fontenot looked over and the youngster was wearing a Phillies cap and shirt. Minnesota's Ben Revere followed with an RBI single, proving that these hard-luck Phillies just can't catch a break.
Kyle Kendrick gave up six runs on eight hits in four innings and the Phillies left 10 runners on base in an 11-7 loss to the Twins on Tuesday night.
``I owe that little kid dinner,' Revere said with a chuckle. ``He helped me out a little bit there.'
Nobody is laughing in Philly, where the preseason NL East favorites have dropped nine of their last 10 games to fall 9 1/2 back of Washington in the division. With injured stars Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Roy Halladay still on the mend, it's not quite clear who is going to get them turned around.
``What can I say? It seems like it's hard for us to get it,' Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. ``It's hard for us to put together a solid game.'
Jimmy Rollins had four hits and two RBIs for the Phillies, who couldn't overcome another poor start from Kendrick (2-6). The right-hander has a 7.80 ERA in his last three starts. Relievers Joe Savery and B.J. Rosenberg also gave up five runs in 2 2-3 innings.
Trevor Plouffe had a homer, a double and three RBIs and the Twins racked up 17 hits to win for the 10th time in 13 games.
Revere and Jamey Carroll each had three hits and two RBIs and Denard Span and Josh Willingham also homered for Minnesota.
Things couldn't have started much worse for Kendrick, who served up a homer to Span to start the bottom of the first.
The Twins tacked on four more in the second inning on Plouffe's two-run homer and base hits from Revere and Joe Mauer to take a commanding 5-0 lead.
``We're just not playing well all around,' Kendrick said. ``Some things happen like that when you're losing.'
Mauer added two hits and two RBIs for the Twins, who scored at least 10 runs for the third time in seven games, got up big early and then kept turning the Phillies back every time they started to close the gap.
But the Phillies started chipping away, scoring four off Nick Blackburn (3-4) in the fourth inning, stringing three straight hits together to get the rally going. Rollins was in the middle of everything, starting the game with a single, picking up doubles in the third and fourth and getting a single and scoring on a base hit from Jim Thome, the slugger who reached the 600-homer plateau in a Twins uniform, in the sixth to cut Minnesota's lead to 8-7.
Willingham hit a solo home off of the lefty Savery in the sixth and Carroll drove in Plouffe with a single in the seventh for a little more breathing room.
``If we score seven runs we can win some games,' Manuel said. ``We've got to play better defense, we've got to score runs and we've got to pitch. There's the main three parts to the game sometimes where we're not consistent doing and that comes back and gets us.'
Thome had two hits and two RBIs in his return to Minnesota and Michael Martinez added three hits and his first RBI of the season for the Phillies.
``You've just got to stay focused and not even worry about (last place), not even worry about the number that you're playing from behind. ... There's so much baseball left,' center fielder Shane Victorino said. ``We've just got to keep plugging along.'
NOTES: Thome was the DH for this interleague series, and he said before the game he's had a tough time acclimating to being a pinch hitter. ``For me it's been difficult to conquer that,' he said. ``Once you get the routine down and feel comfortable, you have to stay with it.' ... Utley (knee) started a rehab assignment with Class-A Clearwater on Tuesday night. ... Manuel came out to argue with 2B umpire Manny Gonzalez in the fifth inning that Plouffe missed third base while scoring on a double from Carroll. ... The Twins held a moment of silence for former RHP Dave Boswell, who died at his home in Maryland on Monday. ... P.J. Walters (2-1, 4.42) will take the mound for Minnesota on Wednesday in Game 2 of the series against Phillies LHP Cole Hamels (8-3, 2.93).
The Associated Press News Service
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