Jamey Carroll was by his locker Tuesday night, and the scribes needed the obligatory opposing hitter comment after Jerome Williams twirled his three-hit gem to lead the Angels over the Twins 4-0.
“It’s hard for me to say because you guys could throw to me right now, and I’d have trouble barreling it up, to be honest with you,” Carroll said.
You have to admire Carroll’s candor. A 2-for-22 skid has dropped his average to .207. Manager Ron Gardenhire swapped him with Alexi Casilla in the batting order -- moving Carroll from second to ninth -- and they combined to go 0-for-7.
“Sometimes if you bat second, you try to overthink some things,” Gardenhire said before the game. “I think Jamey has been doing a great job. His batting average is not great right now but his on-base percentage is still .320 or something. So that’s pretty good for a second hitter and I have no doubt he can handle that. But Alexi is swinging it pretty good. And I want to get some people on in front of those [middle-order] guys.”
Carroll didn’t disagree that he might have been trying to do too much in the two-hole.
“I wasn’t doing something right, you know, it's obvious,” he said. “I knew Lexi was hitting well, and I was surprised that didn’t happen sooner to be honest with you.”
* For Williams, 30, it was his second career shutout. The first came June 27, 2003, which was 3,201 days ago.
Francisco Liriano vaguely remembers Williams from their days with the Giants. Liriano signed with them in 2000.
“He was one of the top prospects when I signed,” Liriano said. “Him and Boof.”
Yes, Boof Bonser was the Giants’ first-round pick (No. 21 overall) in 2000. Williams was the No. 39 overall pick in 1999.
* Torii Hunter continues to punish his former team. He went 2-for-2 with a home run and an RBI single off Liriano. Hunter has four home runs in the past five games. He's batting .453 against the Twins over the past two seasons. Liriano intentionally walked him in the fifth -- after pitching to Albert Pujols with an open base -- and Jeff Gray hit Hunter with a pitch in the eighth. Hunter wasn't hurt, but he didn't look too happy.
* Pujols now has 96 at-bats with the Angels and zero home runs. He heard some boos after grounding out in the eighth.
* Clete Thomas has now struck out 14 times in 17 at-bats. He made contact in the sixth inning -- newsflash! -- but he grounded out to second baseman Howie Kendrick. The Twins did that a lot in this game. Kendrick had eight assists.
* Denard Span had two of the Twins three hits (the other one came from Ryan Doumit). Span extended his career-best hitting streak to 12 games. His .340 batting average ranks ninth in the majors, one spot ahead of Jason Kubel, who’s at .338.
* The Twins will try to avoid getting swept for the fourth time this season Wednesday night, and it's not going to be easy. Jered Weaver pitches for the Angels, opposite Liam Hendriks, who is winless in seven major league starts.