It was a sloppy game, but the Minnesota Twins were able to take the rubber match in a three-game series against the White Sox despite committing four errors. Chicago did not commit any.
“It’s a little bit painful when you have that much difficulty,” said manager Paul Molitor.
“We all know how much physical errors are part of the game, but some of it’s just poise related, I believe, as far as people understanding the speed of the ball and where the other infielders are. Sometimes we get tunnel vision.”
Ervin Santana threw 6.0 innings, giving up three runs (one earned) in a game in which his defense was shaky at best throughout his start.
We didn’t pick up our pitching very well; I think we made it tough on Ervin,” said Molitor. “One of the reasons he only was able to go six, [his] pitch count driven up by the errors, not too often you’re able to overcome that.”
“Thankfully we got off to a good start,” continued Molitor. “[Brian] Dozier got us going, a couple of home runs, and [Kennys] Vargas had a big hit. But yeah, it’s just, we talk a lot about work in progress, and today, on the defensive side, that was fairly obvious.”
Vargas hit his home run in the first inning off of Chicago starter Carlos Rodon, his fourth of the season. Dozier hit his 18th and 19th of the year off of Rodon and reliever Carson Fulmer, respectively.
“In Dozier’s case both those home runs were very important to keep trying to find ways to counter them coming back,” said Molitor of Dozier, who was 3-for-4 hitting leadoff as the designated hitter. “And Kenny, we talked about his right-hand at-bat struggling a little bit this year down there, but he’s done a good job from the right side when I’ve given him opportunities.”
Vargas was 2-for-2 on the night and extended his hitting streak to seven games.
“That was one of those Killebrew shots, it was high and far and had plenty of carry. Yeah, Ervin pitched well, and we were able to mix up the bullpen a little bit trying to get through those last few outs with a couple guys unavailable. And it was good to see Pressly get his first career save.”
Byron Buxton was injured in the second inning after stealing second base on a fastball standing up. He left the game with right knee soreness, and is listed day-to-day.
“I talked to the trainers, he did it somewhere between first and second on the stolen base attempt. Now, whether it was as he approached his slide that he aborted, or if it was on the explosion getting out of the box, I’m not quite sure yet,” said Molitor.
“But something prevented him from sliding, and I don’t think it was because he didn’t slide as much as I think he felt something that caused him to pull up.”
Also, after the game Molitor announced that Jose Berrios will make the start tomorrow against the Cleveland Indians in the first game of a four-game road trip. Tyler Duffey, the projected starter, will move to the bullpen.
“Duff was out in the pen today, we needed an extra arm out there, and that’s probably the way it’s gonna stay here, at least for now,” said Molitor.
“It will be fun to see [Berrios] back up here, and we’ll see how it jump-starts the road trip for us.”