Cole De Vries remembers his first encounter with Tom Kelly a few years ago during spring training during pitcher's fielding practice.
"We were doing PFP's and Tom Kelly was on the other field and all of sudden you hear, 'Hold on! Hold on!' " De Vries said. "He comes walking over, stop everything and take about 20 minutes to explain to you [covering] first base.
"One or two guys who had no idea said, 'Who is this old guy taking all this time?' And me or someone else said, 'Ah, that's Tom Kelly. He's got two World Series rings.' So [the teammate] was like, 'O.K. I'll stop talking.' "
De Vries, from Eden Prairie and a former Gopher, knows what Kelly means to this area. So he was pleased to pitch six shutout innings on Saturday and help the Twins win 3-0 on the same night Kelly's No. 10 was retired in front of an announced crowd of 33,698.
De Vries could have pitched longer, but he caught Asdrubal Cabrera's line drive in the third with his ribs, and they began to bother him later in the game. De Vries held Cleveland to four hits and a walk while striking out two.
The Twins are looking for a few good arms for the 2013 rotation, and De Vries is making a case for himself. He has a 1.54 ERA over his past four outings, as he's displayed a knack for staying one step ahead of hitters.
On Saturday, he allowed the first two batters to reach base but struck out Cabrera and got a double play to get out of the inning. He appeared to make adjustments after that, and retired 10 consecutive batters heading into the sixth. But trainers had to check on him before that inning when his ribs began to ache more. He made it through the inning then turned the game over to the bullpen.
Glen Perkins picked up his 11th save. Ben Revere was 2-for-3 with two stolen bases and two runs scored.
"For us to get the win on Tom Kelly Day makes it even more special," De Vries said.
Outfielder Denard Span took batting practice before the game Saturday with no setbacks. Span, on the 15-day disabled list with a bruised sternoclavicular joint, will continue to take batting practice and is on track to be activated from the disabled list Sept. 12.
Span injured himself Aug. 12 while attempting to make a falling catch. He returned to play in three of four games against Texas Aug. 23-28 but had a setback and landed on the DL.How will infield look?
With Pedro Florimon getting a long look in recent weeks and Eduardo Escobar being called up this month, the Twins might have a few options for their 2013 middle infield combination.
Alexi Casilla and Jamey Carroll are the veterans of the group, but Casilla is headed to arbitration after making $1.382 million this season, and Carroll, as steady with the glove as he is, will be 39 next season.
Brian Dozier spent most of the season at shortstop before being sent down last month. Is he still the Twins' shortstop of the future? Florimon and Escobar don't appear to have Dozier's upside offensively but can field the position.
"The goal is to get lots of talented people and get the best couple to start," Gardenhire said.