- Associated Press - Saturday, June 7, 2014

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The Houston Astros were undone by sloppy defense just a game after Dexter Fowler’s diving catch saved the day.

Two errors didn’t help Scott Feldman (3-4), who lasted just 1 2/3 innings as the Twins jumped out to a 3-0 lead en route to an 8-0 win - which is the Astros’ second shutout loss in four games.

“Our defense didn’t help, but Scotty did have a tough time commanding the strike zone today,” Astros manager Bo Porter said. “This is just one of those games you put in the rear end and come back tomorrow and win the series.”

After a perfect first, Feldman hit Josh Willingham leading off the second. Trevor Plouffe followed with a grounder that third baseman Matt Dominquez misplayed for an error. A walk to Kurt Suzuki loaded the bases with one out, but Feldman appeared to be on the verge of escaping when he struck out Eduardo Escobar.


Shortstop Marwin Gonzalez then bobbled Aaron Hicks’ grounder up the middle and a run scored. Danny Santana followed with a two-run single to right to put the Twins ahead 3-0, and Feldman got yanked after walking Brian Dozier to load the bases.

Feldman gave up just one hit, but walked two batters, struck another and allowed three unearned runs in his 58-pitch outing, 43 of which came in the second inning.

“Brutal,” Feldman said. “I needed one pitch, and it never happened. Then I finally did, a come-backer to me and I couldn’t catch it. Just overall a frustrating inning.”

Reliever Paul Clemens retired Joe Mauer on a fly ball to end the inning, but Clemens walked five batters in the fourth inning as the Twins added four more runs.

After two walks to start the fourth, Santana doubled to center to drive in two runs before Willingham’s RBI single gave the Twins a 6-0 lead.

Clemens, who allowed four earned runs in two innings, hadn’t walked more than three batters in an appearance before Saturday.

“It was one of those days, back-to-back guys struggle to command the strike zone,” Porter said. “Give Minnesota credit, they took pitch after pitch after pitch and put themselves into some good hitting counts. We didn’t help ourselves by allowing them to extend innings.”

Reliever Jerome Williams replaced Clemens after he walked Chris Parmelee to score Mauer for the Twins’ fourth and final run of the fourth inning.

Williams allowed one run and posted three strikeouts in three innings.

Houston didn’t keep the defensive surge rolling after Fowler’s spectacular grab on Friday night robbed Plouffe of a leadoff extra-base hit, which helped secure the Astros’ 5-4 win.

Kyle Gibson (5-5) made matters worse for the Astros, who mustered just five hits on Saturday afternoon.

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