A handful of mistakes made Sunday's 4-2 victory over the Indians closer than it should have been, manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We kind of butchered a couple of things," he said.
Chief among them was Josh Willingham's baserunning gaffe in the sixth inning, when Justin Morneau hit a no-out, bases-loaded single to right. Willingham was on first base, and didn't see third-base coach Joe Vavra stop Joe Mauer at third, playing it safe with no outs, "as he should have," Gardenhire said.
Willingham was halfway to third when he realized he had nowhere to run, and he was tagged out. The Indians escaped the inning without allowing another run.
"Willie just saw the ball went past the cutoff man, and he took off. But you have to know the situation," Gardenhire said. "That kind of side-railed us a little bit."
In the fifth inning, Aaron Hicks missed a hit-and-run sign on one pitch, Gardenhire said, and then Oswaldo took off for second on the next pitch, believing the play was still on. He was thrown out easily. "We got that one straightened out, too," the manager said.
In the third inning, Indians runner Asdrubel Cabrera appeared beaten on a stolen base attempt at third, but umpire Tim Timmons ruled that Plouffe missed the tag. The call resulted in the only run allowed by Mike Pelfrey, since Mark Reynolds followed with a sacrifice fly.
Was the call correct? "No comment," Plouffe said. "He saw one thing and I saw another."
Gardenhire complained, but Timmons told the manager he was "100 percent certain" of the call.
"I can't tell [on a TV replay]. I don't know if he touched him or not," Gardenhire said. "I can't argue with a guy who says he's 100 percent sure. ... Well, I can, but I didn't."