Three extras from an entertaining night at Target Field:
Eddie Rosario’s baserunning helped score an important run for the Twins. But it appeared that Max Kepler’s baserunning had done the same a few innings earlier — but the replay umpire didn’t agree.
The Twins scored twice off emergency starter Blaine Hardy, another soft-throwing veteran lefty like Wade LeBlanc and Brent Suter, who already beat the Twins this week. They did little until the fifth inning, when Kepler, with two runners on base, hit a ball high off the right-field wall for a double, scoring both. The Twins thought they scored the tie-breaking run moments later, when Eduardo Escobar lined a sharp single to left, and Kepler sprinted home.
But the throw from JaCoby Jones in left reached catcher James McCann on the fly, and he reached out to tag Kepler as the Twins outfielder slid past. Home plate umpire Jeff Kellogg signaled safe, but Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire challenged the call, and though the 17,161 umpires in Target Field thought the replay showed McCann missing Kepler, the umpire watching video in New York ruled he tagged him.
Jose Berrios gave up some hard contact early in the game, and not just to Nick Castellanos. The Tiger homered in the first inning and singled home another run in the third, both on first-pitch fastballs that Berrios hoped would surprise him. Instead, he was the one surprised.
“Castellanos was paying attention, and he was ready,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said. “Maybe he’s thinking, ‘He’s going to throw me another fastball, thinking I’m not expecting the fastball.’ Sure enough, he hit it up the middle.”
A few other Tigers hit the ball hard, too, though several were at Twins fielders. But Berrios noticed, and made an adjustment.
“At the beginning of the game, it felt like they knew what I was going to throw,” Berrios said after recording his fifth victory of the season. “So we went back to the dugout and came back with a different game plan that worked.”
It worked. Berrios didn’t allow a hit after the third inning, retiring 16 of the final 17 hitters he faced.
There may have been a case of misplaced nostalgia for Ron Gardenhire’s old fans on Monday. When Tigers pitching coach Chris Bosio — bald, goateed, and a little overweight — headed to the mound to confer with Daniel Stumpf in the eighth inning, several fans in the crowd of 17,161 stood and cheered, apparently believing it was the Twins’ old manager.
Moments later, the real Gardenhire — much slimmer after losing 40 pounds over the past year — walked to the mound to remove Stumpf, and there was little ovation.