A few leftovers from Kansas City, where the ballgames were not as good as the barbeque:
GAVE THEM A CHANCE: Chalk up another quality start for Kevin Correia. The Twins' righthander brought his ERA back under five and recorded his 12th quality start (six innings, three or fewer runs) by holding the Royals to a 2-2 tie through six innings Thursday. Correia is tied with Phil Hughes for most quality starts on the Twins, and his ERA is 4.96. It was a positive sign for the veteran, who gave up 11 runs in eight innings during his last two starts. Those two rough outings probably ended any chance of him being traded by the non-waiver deadline, he admitted after the game, but he said he's not worried about his future. He's been in the league for more than a decade and has never been traded, after all. "He battled. He had a few good innings, but he battled through it, which is normal," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He gets himself in and out of trouble here and there, but he gave us an opportunity to win."
HURTING HAND: Brian Dozier had his batting gloves on in the ninth inning and a bat in his hand, but Gardenhire, clearly worried after the second baseman's hand swelled up Thursday, said he was determined to keep Dozier out of the game if possible. "We don't need him to get beaten up," Gardenhire said of Dozier, who jammed his left thumb while stealing third base on Wednesday. That's why Gardenhire didn't use Kennys Vargas to pinch-hit for Eduardo Nunez in the ninth inning -- he didn't want to have to use Dozier if the Twins tied the score. The Twins face Chris Sale and his 1.88 ERA on Friday, and Gardenhire would like to get Dozier back in the lineup for that.
A LONG O-FER: Rough series for Trevor Plouffe. The Twins' third baseman went 0-for-5 on Thursday, 0-for-12 in the three games here, and struck out three times. He's actually 0-for-16 if you count Sunday, and has batted .138 in the last three series combined. What's most unusual is that he's not driving the ball lately; he's still fourth in the AL in doubles, but hasn't had one in a week and a half. Fortunately, U.S. Cellular Field, the Twins' next stop, is usually a good park for him; he's batting .281 there for his career, although without a home run -- odd for such a home-run park.
WHAT SIZE? Phil Hughes set the record straight today -- he's no "Bochy head," and he doesn't wear a size 8 cap. He's a 7 3/4, the righthander said, and the only reason he wears a size 8 batting helmet is because they're sized large with so much padding. So stop comparing him to Giants manager Bruce Bochy, he of the freakishly large head.