Slowey equals unwanted mark

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 27, 2011 - 8:14 AM

The righthander lost his eighth game in eight starts, a first in baseball history.

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Kevin Slowey finished something no major league pitcher had done in 60 years Monday night as the Twins lost their 99th game.

In his eighth start of the season, Slowey took his eighth loss, marking the first time a pitcher has made at least eight starts in a season and lost each one, according to STATS, LLC.

That hadn't happened since Lou Sleater went 0-8 in eight starts for the St. Louis Browns in 1951.

Slowey had a two-run lead in the sixth inning, but the Royals scored four runs and pulled away for a 7-3 victory at Target Field.

"The sixth inning was a microcosm of my season," Slowey said. "Just an absolute dearth of consistency."

The loss dropped the Twins to 61-99. They need to win their final two games against Kansas City to avoid their first 100-loss season since 1982, and they haven't won consecutive games since before Labor Day.

Slowey, who made $2.7 million this year, is a non-tender candidate, so this might have been his final start as a Twin.

"I'm not going to go into this offseason assuming anything," said Slowey, who went 0-8 with a 6.67 ERA. "I'll take a little bit of time off and then get after it."

Michael Cuddyer hit his 20th homer in the fifth inning, a two-run shot off Felipe Paulino (4-6) that gave the Twins a 3-1 lead.

But Melky Cabrera started the sixth with a single to shortstop Trevor Plouffe -- a play the Twins would like their shortstops to make -- before Billy Butler hit an RBI double. After a sacrifice fly by Salvador Perez, Mike Moustakas lined the go-ahead home run down the right field line. Two more batters singled before Twins manager Ron Gardenhire replaced Slowey with Jim Hoey.

"I didn't think [Slowey] threw the ball bad," Gardenhire said. "They hit the ball in the right spot on him today."

Nathan's timeline

The Twins have until five days after the World Series to pick up the $12.5 million option on Joe Nathan's contract for next season or exercise the $2 million buyout.

Nathan, who's always been clear that he'd like to return, has said he and his agent are prepared for either scenario. Nathan turns 37 in November. Entering Monday, he had converted all 11 of his save chances since regaining the closer's role July 16, posting a 3.43 ERA in 22 appearances.

Once the World Series ends, the Twins also will have a five-day exclusive negotiating window with pending free agents Michael Cuddyer, Jason Kubel and Matt Capps.

Etc.

• Denard Span rested Monday after playing back-to-back days for the first time since mid-August, but he hopes to play the final two games, trainer Dave Pruemer said.

• Nick Blackburn will have a follow-up visit Tuesday with Twin Cities orthopedist Dr. Thomas Varecka to check on his strained right forearm.

• Jason Repko (concussion) went through a light workout at Target Field.

• Alexi Casilla (strained hamstring) worked out before the game but isn't expected to play in the final series.

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