A young Kansas City Royals fan takes cover under an umbrella as a rain delay is called during the third inning of a baseball game between the Royals and the Minnesota Twins in Minneapolis, Monday, May 23, 2016. (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt)
Ann Heisenfelt
May 24, 2016

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) In his three seasons in Minnesota, Ricky Nolasco has become the poster child for the ailing Twins franchise.

When he hasn't been hurt, Nolasco has been battered by opposing hitters, and the four-year, $49 million contract the Twins gave him has been one of several moves that have not panned out.

Nolasco failed to make it out of the third inning for the fourth time in his brief tenure with the Twins, giving up six runs on eight hits in 2 2/3 innings of a 10-4 loss to the Kansas City Royals on Monday night.

''There was just no consistency with anything tonight,'' Nolasco (1-3) said. ''Obviously that loss is on me. I feel healthy and I feel good and that's all I can ask for.''

The right-hander has given up 30 runs in his last six starts.

Joe Mauer had three hits, including his third home run of the season, but the Twins lost for the 19th time in 23 games to fall to an MLB-worst 11-33.

''We dug ourselves a hole,'' manager Paul Molitor said. ''Ricky's had some decent starts along the way here. ... But tonight wasn't his best. Just struggling with his command.''

Salvador Perez had a career-high five hits for the Royals, who put All-Star outfielder Alex Gordon on the disabled list on Monday with a fractured right wrist.

Molitor gave slumping second baseman Brian Dozier the night off, hoping a day or two of watching from the dugout would somehow get him back on track. Both Molitor and hitting coach Tom Brunansky said before the game that Dozier and several of the Twins hitters have been trying to do too much and have had difficulty relaxing as the losses - and strikeouts - have piled up.

The game was delayed 41 minutes by rain, but it didn't come before the Royals knocked Nolasco around the park in a four-run third inning. Paulo Orlando and Perez drove in runs and Jarrod Dyson ended Nolasco's night with a two-run single that made it 6-2.

''It's very frustrating,'' Nolasco said. ''We come in here every day and work. There's no excuses. Just because the record shows what it is, we're not going to quit and give up working.''

The Twins did manage 12 hits in the game.

''We held them off there for a while, but we couldn't put up any crooked numbers out there,'' Molitor said. ''Overall just not a very good game for us.''

FAST MOVERS

The rain started pouring down on Target Field - and at the Beyonce concert at TCF Bank Stadium a few miles away - at 8:20 p.m., sending fans scurrying for shelter and prompting the umpires to call the players off the field.

The Twins grounds crew sprung into action, unrolling the massive tarp over the infield in moments. The time on the clock when it was fully in place: 8:21.

SLUMPING DOZIER

The veteran second baseman is hitting just .199 this season and has been criticized for his inability to hit the ball to the opposite field. Molitor said he wanted to let Dozier watch for a couple of days before re-evaluating.

Dozier spoke to the retired Torii Hunter on Monday morning about dealing with the adversity and being a better leader.

''We talked about a lot of different things and it really opened my eyes,'' Dozier said. ''It was about what I can do to help get things rolling rather than sitting back and waiting for us to start hitting. You don't have to be hitting .300 to be a leader. He shared a lot with me about his struggles in the game, and how he had to be a leader more than ever.''

TRAINER'S ROOM

Royals: Gordon has a non-displaced fracture of the scaphoid bone in his right wrist and will not require surgery, manager Ned Yost said. He is expected to miss the next three to four weeks. ... 3B Mike Moustakas was held out with a bruised knee and is listed day to day.

Twins: RHP Kyle Gibson threw 56 pitches in his rehab start for Class A Fort Myers on Sunday and will throw another 80 on Friday.

UP NEXT

RHP Ervin Santana (1-2, 3.13) takes the mound for the Twins against RHP Edinson Volquez (4-4, 3.79) for the Royals. Santana is coming off of his best outing of the season, going eight innings against the Blue Jays. Volquez has given up four runs in three of his last five starts for a 6.00 ERA.

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