Twins hand Phillies their fourth straight loss

John Mayberry Jr. slides home in the third inning on a hit by Michael Young, giving the Phillies a 1-0 lead.
John Mayberry Jr. slides home in the third inning on a hit by Michael Young, giving the Phillies a 1-0 lead. (Getty Images)
Posted: June 13, 2013

MINNEAPOLIS - Mike Adams clutched his right arm, wrapped in ice, hours before the Phillies reliever was charged with the decisive run in a 3-2 loss to the Minnesota Twins. It is rare for a reliever to throw a bullpen session, albeit brief, before that night's game. But Adams, the Phillies' $12 million setup man, had not pitched in four days because of biceps tendinitis.

On Tuesday afternoon at Target Field, he sought to prove his readiness if he would be needed later in the night.

"I hope so," Adams said.

Hours later, Adams again iced his arm. His four losses already tie a career high. He struggled for words. When asked if he felt soreness, Adams said, "I mean, you know. I mean, it's, uh . . ."

He paused for five seconds.

"I'm good enough to go out there," Adams said.

When he went out there, he was charged with protecting a tie game in the eighth inning. Adams walked Jamey Carroll on four pitches. Joe Mauer singled to right. A groundout and popup cleared a path to survival. Then Charlie Manuel came with his hook and Antonio Bastardo surrendered the winning hit to Justin Morneau.

The Phillies have lost four in a row. They lost again with Cole Hamels on the mound, and the team's record when their $144 million ace starts is an astounding 2-12. They have scored two or fewer runs in seven of those games.

"It's not good," Hamels said. "It's really not great. When you think you finally figured things out, and you've finally got momentum, then you get the results we've been having, it's not good."

Bastardo fought Morneau for seven pitches. Morneau wasted four in a row. Manuel wanted Bastardo to counter with an inside fastball. He went outside with a 93-m.p.h. pitch. Morneau blasted it past Bastardo for the decisive hit.

"He just put the barrel on it," Bastardo said. "Nothing I can do about it, you know?"

Manuel placed the blame on Bastardo.

"That is ideal for Bastardo," Manuel said. "That's why he's there."

Adams, of course, put the runners on base. The first batter has reached in each of his last three outings, a fact that angers him the most. Manuel said Adams' recent inactivity was no excuse.

The pitcher was less sure about that.

"I don't know," Adams said. "I mean, I want to say no. I just, uh, I don't know. I'm going through a tough stretch right now. I'm working to get out of it. It's been rough."

Adams' signing was billed as the cure for eighth-inning woes that so often afflicted these Phillies in 2012. But Adams, who has a history of injuries, has been unable to stay healthy.

At least Hamels could walk away with a no-decision, although that did not ease the pitcher's despair. Minnesota pestered Hamels from the start. He threw 81 pitches in the first four innings, 26 of which were fouled off by Twins hitters.

A close no-call by home-plate umpire Paul Emmel infuriated Hamels in the fourth. The Twins followed with three straight doubles that scored two runs.

"He got up there and started throwing harder," Manuel said. "I think he got testy."

Josh Willingham and Morneau gashed him for back-to-back doubles. Oswaldo Arcia smashed another to deep center that Ben Revere chased. Revere slammed into the wall and his red hat flew. He could not secure the ball.

Once more, there was no Phillies offense. P.J. Walters pitched into the eighth inning for only the second time in 20 career starts. He lugged a career 5.92 ERA into Tuesday. Thus, a tie game forced Adams to the mound, where chaos prevailed.

Contact Matt Gelb at Follow on Twitter @magelb.

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