Errors lead to Phillies' 9th straight loss, 6-5 to Twins

Philadelphia Phillies manager Pete Mackanin is trying to find the best way to snap his team out of its current funk.
   If the errors and miscues continue, it might not matter what type of approach Mackanin takes.
   Max Kepler made up for a costly error with a tying single in the fifth inning and the go-ahead sacrifice fly in the seventh as the Minnesota Twins handed the Phillies their ninth straight loss, 6-5 Wednesday night.
   The Phillies took a 5-2 lead in the fifth as Andres Blanco singled to right and the ball skipped under Kepler's glove, allowing two runs to score. Ryan Howard followed with an RBI single.
   In the bottom of the inning, Eduardo Escobar lined a two-run triple that Phillies right fielder Peter Bourjos misjudged. Kepler followed with his tying single.
   "It's nice to get a three-run lead, but then when you give it right back to them that changes the whole momentum of the game. That was tough to take," Mackanin said.
   Kepler's fly ball to left off reliever David Hernandez (1-2) in the seventh drove in Trevor Plouffe with the tiebreaking run.
   Taylor Rodgers (3-0) worked a scoreless seventh and Fernando Abad got the last four outs for his first save.
   "Fernando's pitched in a lot of games and he's pitched well," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "He got the last four outs and he got them cleanly."
   Cameron Rupp and Blanco homered for the Phillies, who have lost 13 of 14 and are 4-17 in June.
   "I'm walking a tightrope," Mackanin said. "We can't become complacent with losing and on the other hand I don't want to start yelling and screaming and put my thumb on them. There's got to be a way to figure out how to get them back on track."
   A wild pickoff attempt by Philadelphia starter Adam Morgan allowed the speedy Byron Buxton to advance to second base and score on Eduardo Nunez's single in the second inning to give Minnesota a 2-1 lead.
   The defensive miscues and sloppy play from two of the worst teams in baseball came after rain delayed the start of the game by 70 minutes.
   "There's not much I have to say," said Morgan, who allowed five runs on 11 hits in five innings. "The only thing I know to do is to keep going. You go through these times and the only way to get out of them is to keep going."
   Despite the struggles, Mackanin thinks his team still has some fight left.
   "We're going to come back from the dead but now we're at the bottom," he said. "We're going to climb out, that I'm pretty sure of. But right now is the time I've got to figure out a way to keep them motivated without being too harsh."
   Phillies: Reliever Andrew Bailey left the game with a mild left hamstring strain after pitching a perfect sixth inning. He is day-to-day.
   The Phillies announced they have come to terms with a number of top draft picks, including second-rounder Kevin Gowdy, third-rounder Cole Stobbe, fourth-rounder JoJo Romero and 11th-rounder Josh Stephen. Philadelphia signed Mickey Moniak, the top overall pick in the draft, for a $6.1 million signing bonus Monday night. That deal was well under the $9.015 million slot value assigned to the top pick, meaning Philadelphia had more cash to spend on its later picks.
   Phillies: RHP Jerad Eickhoff (4-9, 3.49) makes his first career start against Minnesota. He has pitched at least six innings in 12 of his 14 starts.
   Twins: RHP Ricky Nolasco (3-4, 4.91) leads the Twins in wins and will attempt to build on a strong outing against the Yankees where he allowed two runs in seven innings.
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