Overshadowed by off-field news, Twins fall flat again

Ricky Romero threw a four-hit beauty as the Twins continued to do nothing on offense, losing their sixth in a row.

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Twins fans arrived at Target Field saddened by the news that Harmon Killebrew is ending his fight against esophageal cancer.

The Twins wore throwback uniforms on Friday, a style similar to the ones Killebrew slipped his powerful body into. And his No. 3 jersey hung on the back wall of the Twins dugout during their game against the Blue Jays on Friday as the team showed its support for the Twins icon.

On the field, there were no Killebrew-esque moments by the Twins offense.

Toronto lefty Ricky Romero dominated them as the Blue Jays carved out a 2-0 victory at Target Field, handing the Twins their sixth consecutive loss, a season high. It also was their sixth loss in a row at home, the most since they lost seven in a row at the Metrodome in September 2007.

It added to one depressing night at the ballpark.

"Things are bad right now for us," said Twins third baseman Danny Valencia, who was 0-for-2 with a walk. "Our pitching staff did a great job. That shouldn't get lost in this game. The offense just didn't support them.

"There are days like this in baseball, but you never want them to be when you are struggling."

The Twins were shut out for the fourth time this season as Romero improved to 4-0 against the Twins in his career with a 1.98 ERA in five starts.

He hit the Twins at the wrong time, as they look for ways to get out of the rut they're in.

Romero, the sixth overall pick in the 2005 draft out of Cal State-Fullerton, showed early on that he was prepared to continue his mastery of the Twins. But just how dominant would he be?

The Twins couldn't get the ball out of the infield for most of the game, that's how dominant.

Luke Hughes' flyout to right field in the third was the only ball that made it to the outfield during the first 5 2/3 innings. The Twins had no hits, two walks, five strikeouts and 10 outs via the ground ball during that time.

The no-hitter ended when Denard Span squirted a grounder by the diving Edwin Encarnacion at third for a single with two outs in the sixth. Many among the announced crowd of 38,809 stood up and cheered. In relief.

Romero, with a sharp breaking ball and cut fastball, rolled into the eighth inning having thrown only 65 pitches.

He was an out from his fifth complete game, but Delmon Young grounded a single to right, and Frank Francisco came on for the final out.

"We faced a tough pitcher," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He gave us just about everything he had out there."

The Twins pitching staff did its best to scatter 11 hits over eight innings. Juan Rivera drove in the first Toronto run with a single in the seventh. Hit No. 12 was a whopper, as Jose Bautista got hold of a 3-2 pitch by Joe Nathan and launched it into the seats in left for his 12th home run and a 2-0 Blue Jays lead in the ninth.

Fans headed for the exits. There wasn't much to cheer about on Friday.

But some cheers did erupt in the ninth inning when a stadium camera found a fan wearing a Twins jersey.

It was Killebrew's No. 3.


    Up next: 3:10 p.m. today vs. Toronto at Target Field • TV: FSN (1500ESPN)

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