Garza is perfect ... 0-9 in career at Metrodome
- Article by: Joe Christensen
- Star Tribune
- September 1, 2007 - 12:36 AM
Matt Garza fell to 0-9 in 11 career games at the Metrodome after taking the loss in Game 1 of Friday's split doubleheader, a 9-4 loss to Kansas City.
"It doesn't bother me," the 23-year-old Twins righthander said. "Eventually, I'll win here one time."
Garza gave up eight runs in 5 1/3 innings, but only four runs were earned. He cost himself with a key sixth-inning error.
After falling behind 3-0 in the first inning, the Twins had cut the lead to 4-3 by the sixth, when Kansas City put runners at first and second with no outs.
Joey Gathright bunted right back to Garza, and with plenty of time to get the force at third base, the righthander fired wide left. The ball bounced into the Twins bullpen, enabling two runs to score and the speedy Gathright to reach third.
"He hit it right where I wanted it," Garza said. "It was just one of those where maybe my eyes got too big, and I got too excited. ... That one's going to haunt me for a while."
It wasn't an isolated incident for Garza, who had trouble throwing to bases in the minors.
"When you throw the ball home, you've still got a job to do when they put the ball in play," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Garza had a hard time today."
As expected, the Twins made no trades before Friday's deadline for teams to set their playoff rosters.
Active rosters can expand from 25 to 40 today, and the Twins brought infielder Luis Rodriguez back from Class AAA Rochester.
Lew Ford, another likely promotion, fouled a ball off his right foot and had to leave Rochester's game in the fifth inning Friday. Kevin Slowey will join the team to make Tuesday's start, and Gardenhire said they might get one more pitcher.
The Twins also removed lefthander Jason Miller -- who was briefly in the majors earlier this year -- from their 40-man roster and assigning him to the Rochester roster. That left 38 players on the 40-man. One pitcher who could be added and then promoted is righthander Nick Blackburn, who is 7-3 with a 2.11 ERA for Rochester.
With an 11 a.m. start today, the Twins could finish three games in less than 25 hours.
Gardenhire said he hadn't done that since youth baseball, when it seemed teams could play every two hours.
With kickoff for tonight's Gophers football game scheduled for 7, the Twins and Royals won't be allowed to start an inning after 3. If the game is still tied, it will be suspended and completed before Sunday's series finale.
Gardenhire used Chris Heintz to catch Game 1 on Friday, and Mike Redmond to catch Scott Baker's Game 2 gem, but Redmond might catch the early-bird special today.
"He's better when he's ornery," Gardenhire said. "But we'll see how he feels."
Francisco Liriano was in the clubhouse between games and appeared to be in excellent shape. From all accounts, his recovery from reconstructive elbow surgery is going well, and the Twins expect him to be at full strength for spring training.
Jason Tyner extended his career-high hitting streak to 13 games with a fourth inning single in Game 1. Though he was batting .437 during the streak, he did not start Game 2.
The Twins had hoped Dennys Reyes (left elbow inflammation) would play catch Friday, but he is now targeting Monday.
The Twins also had hoped Joe Mauer (strained hamstring) would be able to do running exercises, but after doing some lunges, he only managed to play catch and take swings in the batting cage.
Joe Christensen firstname.lastname@example.org
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