Three quick extras from Friday’s dramatic Twins victory:
— Paul Molitor was understandably pleased with the work of his bullpen, which shut out the Royals for five innings, and only once even allowed a runner to reach second base. Tyler Duffey retired six of the seven batters he faced, the exception being a Miguel Sano throwing error. Matt Belisle gave up a hit, erased on a double play, and Taylor Rogers got three quick outs in the ninth. Brandon Kintzler gave up two hits in the 10th inning, but Ehire Adrianza made a slick play to record a force out, and Kintzler caught a Jorge Bonifacio line drive and doubled Eric Hosmer off second base to end the threat.
“Our bullpen did a really nice job to keep putting up zeroes,” Molitor said.
— The Twins originally were planning to announce a transaction after the game, removing someone in order to activate Adalberto Mejia to pitch Saturday’s game. But with Saturday’s game in such doubt — forecasts call for near-certain rain all afternoon — they decided to hold off and re-evaluate their options when they know whether the game will be played as scheduled. If it’s rained out, Mejia could simply become the 26th man in Sunday’s makeup game, and the Twins wouldn’t have to make a roster move.
— The night may have gone far differently had the Twins cashed in on their first, best threat, when Miguel Sano led off the second inning against Royals righthander Nate Karns with a sharp single. Max Kepler followed with a cannon-shot to right that initially appeared headed for the seats. But it didn’t carry in the 45-degree air, and bounced off the wall, then Jorge Bonifacio’s glove.
Sano, initially waiting to see if the ball was caught, headed for third and suddenly sped up as third-base coach Gene Glynn waved him home. The Royals made the play perfectly, however, with Bonifacio retrieving the ball and getting it to second baseman Whit Merrifield, who fired a perfect relay to the plate. Salvador Perez was kneeling in front of the plate, where he caught the short-hop in perfect position to tag Sano as he slid head-first.
The Twins also came close to a breakthrough in the eighth inning, putting two runners on base, but the Royals’ Gold Glove left fielder, Alex Gordon, made a diving catch of Kepler’s sinking liner to end the threat. Even Kepler couldn’t believe it — he stood on second base and asked, “Am I out?”