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As well as the Twins have played over the past three weeks, they learned Tuesday night that they couldn't survive giving the New York Yankees, the team with the best record in the American League, extra outs and free bases.

Willi Castro, playing center field, misplayed a routine fly ball from Juan Soto in the first inning, blinded by the sun before making a late break toward the ball. After the hit dropped, Castro bobbled the ball and nonchalantly tossed the ball toward the infield as Soto raced to second base.

Chris Paddack pitched around Castro's first-inning error, but Castro threw to the wrong base on a sacrifice fly in the second inning and he didn't have a strong jump on a line drive that sailed over him for a two-run double with two outs in the fourth inning. The mistakes added up and the Twins were handed a 5-1 loss at Target Field, the first time they dropped a series opener in their past seven series.

"It was very unlike us," Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. "It was very unlike the brand and type of baseball we've been playing."

Paddack yielded 12 hits, matching his career high in a start, and five runs in five innings. He mostly pitched well in jams, leaving nine men on base.

During the fourth inning, with the Twins down by two runs, Paddack was on the verge of his first 1-2-3 inning. Then he issued a six-pitch walk to Soto and Aaron Judge hit a slow roller to third base for an infield single. Next up was Alex Verdugo, who smacked a line drive to center, the ball carrying over the glove of a leaping Castro to double New York's lead.

"For sure, I had a chance," Castro said. "He hit the ball pretty good, and he had the backspin, so it went over me. I thought I was right underneath that ball, but he hit that pretty good, so it got over me."

Paddack allowed three consecutive singles to begin the second inning. One run scored on a lineout to center for a sacrifice fly, and Castro made an ill-advised throw to the plate, allowing a runner to move from second to third.

"As soon as I threw that ball, when I decided to throw to home plate, I knew that wasn't the [right] decision," Castro said. "I was better just throwing that to third base so we could get that double play or something. That was my fault."

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Yankees shortstop Anthony Volpe followed with an RBI hit to left field. Volpe wisely took second base when left fielder Austin Martin threw the ball toward third.

"We've been very consistently defending," Baldelli said. "We've been making plays. We've been throwing balls to the right base. We've been good on cutoffs. Overall, we've done a pretty great job on the defensive side. To see that, it was a little bit like, 'What was that?' We haven't seen much of it."

BOXSCORE: New York Yankees 5, Twins 1

The Twins offense scored fewer than two runs for the first time since April 6. Yankees starter Carlos Rodón, who surrendered a solo homer to Ryan Jeffers on his second pitch, retired 11 consecutive batters before Carlos Santana hit a leadoff single in the seventh inning.

The Twins had two more hits in the first inning — singles from Carlos Correa and Manuel Margot — but Rodón ended a 26-pitch first inning by striking out Santana. The Twins had only two baserunners over their next five innings.

"I thought we found some good pitches to hit," Baldelli said. "We smoked a few of them, got nothing. We did some things well. We did some other things not as well. We need to play better than that."