FORT MYERS, FLA. – Things didn’t start well for righthander Liam Hendriks on Tuesday. “My warmup was ... horrendous,” he said.
What followed was another example of why warmups — and some boxscores — should be ignored.
Hendriks pitched fairly well during the Twins’ 8-5 loss to the Rays. Officially, he gave up two runs on four hits and a walk with three strikeouts. But here’s how the two runs were scored in the second inning:
With two outs and a runner on first, Leslie Anderson sent a routine fly to left that Josh Willingham lost in the sun. The ball fell 30 feet to his right as a run scored.
Then Hendriks threw a two-strike breaking ball to Wil Myers that somehow was called a ball by umpire Bob Davidson. Myers walked, and Jose Lobaton followed with an RBI single.
Hendriks came back and pitched a scoreless third, giving up only a seeing-eye single to Evan Longoria.
“It proved to me at this point in time that I could have a long inning, sit down, go back out there and still feel good,” Hendriks said. “The ball was coming out of my hand good. My offspeed stuff was working. I threw every single pitch I had for a strike. I was really happy.”
Hendriks has given up four earned runs over eight innings this spring as he battles for a spot in the starting rotation.
“He threw the ball pretty decent,” manager Ron Gardenhire said. “I thought his fastball has good life on it. It looked like he was pouring it in there, pounding hitters inside.”
La Velle E. Neal III