MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — This was one difficult series for the Minnesota Twins, and it took a turn for the worse when Samuel Deduno was hampered by right shoulder soreness on Thursday.
Deduno left after three innings and Minnesota lost 3-1 to the Kansas City Royals, completing a three-game series sweep with its fifth consecutive loss.
Deduno (8-8) allowed three runs and four hits, struck out four and walked one. He had been bothered by biceps tendinitis, but he wanted to keep pitching. When he had trouble locating the ball against Kansas City, the Twins decided enough was enough.
He said he felt a little pain when trying to throw his fastball hard.
"I wanted to be aggressive. That's when I felt it," he said. "I wanted to keep pitching, but they told me they want to see what's wrong with my shoulder."
Deduno is scheduled for an MRI Friday. He said he wasn't sure if he'd make his next start.
The Royals outscored Minnesota 17-3 in the three-game set to finish the season series with a 15-4 record against their AL Central rival. Kansas City has won seven straight at Target Field.
"This was a nice series for us," manager Ned Yost said. "We did everything really well, we pitched well, swung the bats well, played solid defense."
Royals left-hander Bruce Chen (6-2) gave up one run and five hits in 5 2-3 innings, bouncing back from a pair of shaky starts. In his past two games, he allowed 13 runs in nine innings.
"I went back and tried to be more aggressive," Chen said. "I wanted to make sure I pound the strike zone."
The Twins hit just 15 for 91 (.165) in the series. Brian Dozier homered for Minnesota, which has totaled just six runs during its skid.
Minnesota is one game ahead of last-place Chicago in the division.
"It's a tough time of the year," said bench coach Terry Steinbach, who filled in when manager Ron Gardenhire was ejected in the second inning. "They don't call it the 'Dog Days of August' for nothing, and whether you're in first place or last place or somewhere in the middle, as players and as organizations and teams you've got to figure out a way to get through this stuff."
Justin Maxwell was hit by a pitch — the ninth batter plunked this season by Deduno — and both benches were warned by home plate umpire Alan Porter. Gardenhire came out to protest and was tossed for the fourth time this year.
"If anybody was watching the game today, Sammy didn't have his 'A' control today," Steinbach said. "So when the ball takes off like that and instantly right away they warn you, it's kind of frustrating."
Page 2 of 2 - Chris Getz, Alcides Escobar and Alex Gordon each had an RBI single in Kansas City's three-run second.
Dozier connected in the sixth for his 14th homer, tying him with Tim Teufel (1984) for most homers in a season by a Minnesota second baseman.
Already playing short-handed because outfielder Oswaldo Arcia was unavailable with a sore wrist, Minnesota lost right fielder Wilkin Ramirez in the fifth inning after he fouled a ball off his left shin. He was scheduled for an MRI later Thursday.
NOTES: Minnesota is one game ahead of last-place Chicago in the division. ... Minnesota C Joe Mauer, out since Aug. 20 with a concussion, said before the game that he is "feeling better," but is not close to returning. "It's not any fun watching, so hopefully I can get back there soon."
Ervin Santana (8-7, 3.21 ERA) starts for Kansas City on Friday when the Royals open a three-game series in Toronto. Mark Buehrle (10-7, 4.08 ERA) is scheduled to start for the Blue Jays. ... Minnesota opens a weekend series at Texas Friday with Liam Hendriks (0-2, 6.20 ERA) scheduled to face the Rangers' Yu Darvish (12-5, 2.68 ERA).