ADVERTISEMENT

Cleveland Indians' Michael Brantley, right, hits an RBI-single off Minnesota Twins relief pitcher Anthony Swarzak in the fifth inning of a baseball game on Saturday, Aug. 24, 2013, in Cleveland. Nick Swisher scored. Twins catcher Chris Herrmann, left, watches. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak) ORG XMIT: MIN2013082420535728

Tony Dejak, Dml - Associated Press - Ap

hendriks on the hill: Liam Hendriks made his fourth start of the season for the Twins on Saturday night in Cleveland. He gave up early homers to Jason Kipnis and Carlos Santana.

Tony Dejak • Associated Press,

Twins starter Liam Hendriks had a rough night, giving up seven runs on seven hits in 4⅓ innings of work.

Tony Dejak • Associated Press,

No spoiler this time as Hendriks, Twins fall hard to Cleveland

  • Article by: LA Velle E. Neal III
  • Star Tribune
  • August 25, 2013 - 12:18 AM

 

– Liam Hendriks’ pitch to Carlos Santana in the first inning was a belt-high fastball, over the plate where Santana could extend his arms and drive it into the stands.

His pitch to Jason Kipnis in the third inning was a slider that was supposed to paint the outside corner but instead sliced home plate in half. Kipnis crushed it to right for another homer.

Hendriks has a chance to launch himself back into the mix for the rotation of the near future, but pitches like the ones he threw to Santana and Kipnis on Saturday night sent the Twins down the path to a 7-2 loss to the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field. Kipnis went 2-for-3 with the two-run homer. Brian Dozier was the lone bright spot for the Twins. He made a diving catch in the fifth to rob Kipnis of another hit and hit his 13th homer in the eighth.

Hendriks, called up from Class AAA Rochester to replace the demoted Kyle Gibson in the rotation, left pitches up in the strike zone and fell behind hitters. In 4 ⅓ innings, he was charged with seven runs on seven hits with a walk and no strikeouts. It resembled some of his outings during previous stints in the rotation.

“I got ahead of guys,’’ Hendriks maintained. “The secondary pitches, they just weren’t working. I couldn’t throw a strike when I needed to. They took advantage of some bad pitches and hit them in the right spots as well.’’

Hendriks can’t win with his 90-92-mph fastball, so he kept trying to make adjustments with his delivery, which didn’t work.

“It was one thing I was hoping to figure out midgame,’’ he said.

It was a reminder that, in 24 major league starts, Hendriks has one win. One. He’s 1-11 in his career.

That win came on Sept. 19 of last year. At Cleveland. In a victory over Indians righthander Zach McAllister. The tables were turned on Saturday, as McAllister pitched 7 ⅓ innings to improve to 7-7.

McAllister held the Twins to two runs on four hits and two walks while striking out five. He got several swings and misses on an off-speed pitch the Twins didn’t recognize.

“It was a changeup or splitter or something that was really diving,’’ Twins manager Ron Gardenhrie said. “It was a really nice pitch for him. He just pounded the strike zone and used his breaking ball and attacked us, went right at us and made us chase early. A nice changeup. Whether it was a forkball or straight change, we could not figure out which what it was. But it was something we hadn’t seen before with that much movement.’’

Santana hit a two-run homer in the first, and Kipnis’ homer made it 4-1 in the third. Cleveland chased Hendriks during a three-run fifth, with two runs coming on Nick Swisher’s double.

After holding the White Sox to two runs over 6 ⅓ innings on Aug. 9 when called up to pitch in a doubleheader, Hendriks was in position to turn heads and change minds. Gardenhire said the plan is for Hendriks to start on Friday at Texas. He needs to get all his pitches working quickly, because there aren’t many starts left in the season.

“You never really want to think about little room for error,’’ he said. “I can go out there do what I can and force their hand. There’s nothing much else I can do.’’

Hendriks remembers savoring his first major league victory in Cleveland. He is still hunting for No. 2.

“I want a couple more,’’ he said. “Outings like [Saturday] aren’t going to help.’’

 

© 2014 Star Tribune