Postgame: Gardenhire, bullpen counting on Nolasco

  • Blog Post by: Phil Miller
  • June 14, 2014 - 9:23 PM

    A trio of extras from an injury-filled day:

    NEED INNING-EATING: Amid all the uncertainty about whether his infielders are healthy enough to play, Ron Gardenhire didn't need another roster move to worry about. So he sounded optimistic that his bullpen, which has had plenty of work on this trip, including 5 1/3 innings by four relievers Saturday, can hold up without requiring any reinforcements from Rochester. "We've got [Ricky] Nolasco pitching [Sunday], so we hope we can count on our starter to eat up innings. If he goes out, no, we don't have enough bullpen, but we hope he's going to be able to give us a performance," Gardenhire said. "We've got a bunch of people who can still throw. Most of our guys only went one inning."

    REPLAY SAVES RALLY: The Twins may have trailed by eight runs with just four outs left, but Gardenhire didn't give up on the game. With two outs in the eighth inning, Eduardo Nunez appeared to end the inning with a groundout to second. But Gardenhire challenged umpire Seth Buckminster's call, and replay showed that Nunez's foot touched the bag a split-second before the ball reached Miguel Cabrera. That kept the inning alive, and Eric Fryer, Eduardo Escobar and Danny Santana followed with singles, none of them hit hard but enough to score three runs and close the gap to 12-7. Fryer, by the way, went 3-for-5 in his first game in the majors since last September, but Joe Mauer and Oswaldo Arcia each went 0-for-5.

    LIMITED PAIN: Trevor Plouffe said it was the landing on his dive, an awkward attempt in the third inning on Ian Kinsler's grounder, that injured his quad muscle. He doubled over in pain once the ball bounced away. He remained in the game for one more batter, throwing out Torii Hunter to end the inning, but was removed afterward and diagnosed with a strained left oblique.

    "I can do pretty much any motion now with limited pain. The throwing motion is the one that bothers me most, but if it's just bruised, you've got to play through a little pain sometimes," said Plouffe, who was taken to a nearby hospital for x-rays and an MRI. "It's not going to feel great [Sunday], but if it's something that's just a little bit of pain, I play through it. I've been doing [hitting] motions the whole time, and those don't bother me."

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