Three extras from the Twins’ first win since last Monday:
Ryan Pressly pitched a scoreless inning, made a nice defensive play, and was angry with himself after the game.
See, before the Twins reliever snagged Eric Hosmer’s one-hopper and triggered a double play — in fact, the reason he needed a double play — was that Pressly had committed his first error since his rookie season, two batters earlier.
“I wasn’t too happy about that,” the righthander said.
Paulo Orlando led off the eighth inning against Pressly with a single, and Cheslor Cuthbert hit a dribbler up the first base line. Pressly got there, picked it up, and then dropped it back to the ground, allowing Cuthbert to reach safely.
“Just tried to move too quickly,” he said.
But Pressly recovered from the two-on, no-out jam by retiring Lorenzo Cain on a pop up, then getting Hosmer to hit it back to him. That ended the inning, if not the teasing.
“I was happy I kind of redeemed myself a little bit,” Pressly said. “But I got made fun of in the dugout: ‘We’re going to have pitcher’s fielding practice, get that squared away.’ “
Tyler Duffey had a plan: No strikeouts.
OK, that’s not really true. But he and catcher Kurt Suzuki knew better than to try to whiff the Royals, who have the fourth-fewest strikeouts in the AL this year.
“They’re a real aggressive lineup, but they don’t strike out a lot,” Duffey said. “So I know that going into it — you can’t strike those guys out or they’ll just foul ball you to death. “
Instead, he tried to force the Royals to put the ball into play, and it resulted in five fly ball outs before the first player hit a ground ball. Duffey, now 8-8 on the season, eventually struck out six, but no Royals batter struck out twice.
He’ll consider that same approach for his next start, which comes Friday in Kansas City against this same lineup.
Paul Molitor strategically chose not to use a manager’s challenge on Saturday, figuring that he wasn’t sure if he wanted to be right.
After Alex Gordon drew a walk to open the fifth inning of a tie game, and Alcides Escobar followed with a single to left, Raul Mondesi, the Royals’ No. 9 hitter, squared around to bunt. He made contact, and the ball seemed to die on the plate before umpire Kerwin Danley ruled it foul. Molitor believed catcher Salvador Perez may had touched the ball while on the plate, making it fair.
But because both runners had moved up a base on the play, he decided not to ask the umpires to check.
“That one out in front of the plate might have been fair, but I wasn’t sure I wanted to argue,” Molitor said. “They definitely advanced the runners.”
Instead, Mondesi tried to bunt again, and Molitor’s calculation paid off. Mondesi bunted the ball into the air, and Suzuki jumped up to catch it, forcing both runners to hold their base.
Then Duffey got Paulo Orlando to hit an easy double-play ball at Eduardo Escobar, and the Royals’ potential big inning was foiled.
“We had a big inning there,” Molitor said, “defensively.”