Twins drop series in San Diego as trade deadline nears

SAN DIEGO — There’s still time remaining to impact the Twins’ roster. But that time is dwindling.

The Major League Baseball trade deadline will come and go on Tuesday at 5 p.m. CDT, affording the Twins just a couple more days to make meaningful outside additions — particularly to the pitching staff.

While things are expected to heat up in the next couple of days — Cincinnati starter Luis Castillo was traded to Seattle but otherwise things have been mostly slow — this week’s road trip gave the Twins a chance to see how they stack up against other playoff contenders.

The Twins fell on Sunday 3-2 to the Padres at Petco Park, dropping two of three games to a team bidding for a National League wild card spot. Before that came two tough losses in Milwaukee to the National League Central Division leaders.

With Sunday’s loss, the Twins (53-48) currently have a one game edge over the Cleveland Guardians and a two-game lead over the third-place Chicago White Sox.

“We haven’t played our best baseball all year. We haven’t been healthy all year. Those are two true things,” president of baseball operations Derek Falvey said Sunday on WCCO-AM. “But for us right now, looking at our group and trying to figure out ways to add to these pieces, to get better in the second half, our focus is to put the best team out there that we can every night. That’s maybe not the case in every market in every season. We’re going to try to find ways to add to this group.”

Things got a little harder this road trip on the injury front when Max Kepler was hit by a pitch on the foot, suffering a fractured pinky toe. Alex Kirilloff was taken out of Saturday’s game with right wrist pain and will be further evaluated on Monday. So will Miguel Sańo, who returned from the injured list and then landed right back on it days later after tweaking his surgically-repaired knee during his rehab assignment.

In Sunday’s loss, Twins hitters collected just four hits — solo home runs from Luis Arraez and Jose Miranda in consecutive innings produced their only runs — and the Padres (57-46) surged ahead in the sixth inning.

Starter Dylan Bundy, who had retired 13 of the past 14 hitters leading into the frame, allowed a pair of hits, spelling the end of his day. Emilio Pagán followed him and allowed a pair of singles — a ball hit at 80.4 miles per hour that got by Arraez at first base and then a soft single that dropped into right field — giving San Diego the lead for good.

“Just two bloop hits again under 80 miles an hour. It’s bad luck and we keep saying, ‘It’s bad luck,’ but eventually we’re going to have to change that luck,” Bundy said. “I thought EP threw the ball great. … Two bloop hits. Ain’t nothing you can do about it.”

The loss sends the Twins home having lost four of seven games on the road trip — they swept Detroit to begin the trip — just a couple of days before Tuesday’s important deadline.

“We’ve got a good team. We know we’ve got to get better,” Miranda said. “We’ve played some good teams this road trip, some playoff contenders. We know we’ve got to get better … But we’ve just got to keep grinding, keep battling and give our best out there.”

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