Hot spot no sweat for fresh reliever

Jim Hoey found his way to Baltimore -- and back to the majors -- just in time to help.

view larger photos


BALTIMORE - Jim Hoey got the call to the majors Sunday while Class AAA Rochester was in Scranton. He left Scranton for Philadelphia -- but missed his connecting flight to Baltimore, so he didn't arrive in Charm City until 12:30 a.m. Monday.

It was plenty of time for the righthander to think about how he would approach his former team.

"The last two games of spring training they were just sitting dead-red fastball,'' Hoey said. "I wanted to show them tonight that you can't do that.''

So Hoey, with a fastball that hit 97 miles per hour on the Camden Yards radar gun Monday, opened with a split-fingered fastball to Derek Lee, then got him to fly out to end the seventh. Hoey followed with a scoreless eighth, and the Twins went on to win 5-3 over the Orioles for their first consecutive victories of the season.

Francisco Liriano went 61/3 innings to get his first win of the season. Drew Butera drove in three runs with a double and a single.

Hoey was called up Sunday after the struggling Joe Nathan relinquished the closer's role to work on his pitches in a less-demanding role. Matt Capps, who on Monday picked up his second save, will close. The Twins needed a power arm for the late innings and looked to Hoey, who came to the Twins as part of the deal that sent shortstop J.J. Hardy to the Orioles in December.

Good first impression against the organization that drafted him in the 13th round in 2003.

"Hoey, what can you say?"' Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He comes right up from the get-go and gets put right into the hot box. He went right through the middle part of their lineup, the biggest hitters you are going to face, and threw the ball really well.''

Hoey got Vladimir Guerrero to fly out to right, struck out Mark Reynolds looking and got Adam Jones to swing and miss at a wicked split-fingered fastball before grounding out to end the eighth.

Hoey was cut from spring training camp with a request from Gardenhire and pitching coach Rick Anderson to work on his other pitches.

"The last game of spring training I came out of the game and went straight to the bullpen with Andy, and he had me just throwing it soft, throwing it easy, just getting a feel,'' Hoey said. "For me, that really has helped. Went down to the minor leagues and worked on it.

"It really has helped. It has opened my eyes to a lot of different things. I've always have been a hard-hard guy. Now I can be a hard-soft guy.''

The Twins' top four hitters in the lineup -- Denard Span, Matt Tolbert, Jason Kubel and Jim Thome -- combined to go 1-for-18 with a whopping eight strikeouts against unheralded Chris Tillman and the Baltimore bullpen.

The offense came from Butera, who lobbed a two-run double down the right field line in the second inning and a cracked a sharp single in the ninth that enabled pinch runner Jason Repko to score to make it 4-2. Another run scored on Kevin Gregg's wild pitch.

Butera's last RBI was a big one, because Luke Scott homered off Capps in the ninth before the closer got the final out.

"We had some key hits by some people you don't expect a lot of hitting from,'' Gardenhire said. "That's big for our baseball team.''

So is Hoey, if he can occasionally keep hitters off his big-time fastball.

  • related content

  • Until late, Liriano gains ground

    Tuesday April 19, 2011

    BALTIMORE - Twins lefthander Francisco Liriano went to the mound to start the seventh inning Monday. It was already his longest outing of the young season. Another scoreless inning and...

  • Game recap

    Monday April 18, 2011

    The catcher with a defensive focus went 2-for-4 with three RBI.

  • Minnesota designated hitter Jim Thome, left, is restrained by third base coach Steve Liddle as he argues with home plate umpire Chris Guccione, right, after Thome struck out during the eighth inning. First base coach Jerry White is at second from right.


    Up next: 6:05 tonight at Baltimore

    Camden Yards • TV: FSN (1500ESPN)

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Baltimore 2 FINAL
Detroit 15
NY Yankees 5 FINAL
Philadelphia 5
Northeastern 1 FINAL
Boston 2
Miami-Fla 1 FINAL
Miami 7
Pittsburgh 8 FINAL
Toronto 7
San Francisco 4 FINAL
Oakland 9
Cleveland 0 FINAL
Cincinnati 10
Boston College 0 FINAL
Boston 1
Arizona State 0 FINAL
Arizona 4
Boston 79 FINAL
Cleveland 110
LA Lakers 103 FINAL
Charlotte 104
Sacramento 124 FINAL
New York 86
Houston 96 FINAL
Atlanta 104
Utah 93 FINAL
Memphis 82
Washington 92 FINAL
Chicago 97
Milwaukee 95 FINAL
Denver 106
Nashville 1 FINAL
New Jersey 3
Calgary 3 FINAL(OT)
Philadelphia 2
Washington 5 FINAL
Columbus 3
Buffalo 0 FINAL
Tampa Bay 3
Toronto 3 FINAL
Florida 2
Ottawa 2 FINAL(SO)
Minnesota 3
NY Islanders 2 FINAL(OT)
Dallas 3
Anaheim 4 FINAL
Arizona 1
Los Angeles 5 FINAL
Edmonton 2
San Jose 6 FINAL
Vancouver 2
Ole Miss 82 FINAL
Alabama 74
Eastern Mich 67 FINAL
Ball State 60
Kent State 81 FINAL
Bowling Green 80
Ohio 66 FINAL
Buffalo 93
Georgetown 60 FINAL
Butler 54
Toledo 77 FINAL
Central Mich 85
Rhode Island 59 FINAL
Dayton 75
Youngstown St 67 FINAL
Detroit 77
North Carolina 81 FINAL
Georgia Tech 49
Loyola-Maryland 45 FINAL
Holy Cross 62
Iowa 77 FINAL
Indiana 63
Akron 63 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 70
Army 52 FINAL
Navy 56
Maryland 60 FINAL
Rutgers 50
Kennesaw St 54 FINAL
USC Upstate 90
Jacksonville 63 FINAL
Fla Gulf Coast 81
Lipscomb 76 FINAL
Northern Ky 73
Stetson 67 FINAL
North Florida 81
Wright State 57 FINAL
Ill-Chicago 60
Western Mich 63 FINAL
Northern Ill 65
Nebraska Omaha 80 FINAL
North Dakota 78
Houston Baptist 71 FINAL
Abilene Christian 83
NC State 66 FINAL
Clemson 61
Texas A&M 62 FINAL
Florida 66
Kentucky 72 FINAL
Georgia 64
West Virginia 69 FINAL
Kansas 76
Auburn 61 FINAL
Missouri 63
Michigan 78 FINAL
Northwestern 82
Villanova 76 FINAL
Creighton 72
Longwood 55 FINAL
Gardner-Webb 63
Charleston Southern 39 FINAL
Presbyterian 47
Coastal Carolina 54 FINAL
UNC-Asheville 68
UMass Lowell 60
West Virginia 55 FINAL
Kansas State 59
Texas 79
Fresno State 61 FINAL
Air Force 41
San Jose St 76 FINAL
Boise State 91
Nevada 61 FINAL
Colorado State 68
San Diego State 76
Wyoming 61 FINAL
Utah State 57
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: Which Twins player are you most interested in during spring training?

Weekly Question