Rally sputters; Walters hurt

P.J. Walters was on the mound for about 10 minutes, but enough happened during that time to send the Twins toward defeat.

view larger photos


Righthander P.J. Walters was on the mound for about 10 minutes Wednesday, but enough happened during that time to send the Twins to a 9-8 loss to the Phillies and throw the starting rotation into more of a flux than it already was in.

Walters was able to throw 15 pitches -- only one reached 87 miles per hour -- before being pulled from the game because of right shoulder stiffness. You knew something was wrong when Twins manager Ron Gardenhire went to the mound to talk to Walters instead of pitching coach Rick Anderson, and that was confirmed when Twins trainer Dave Pruemer soon jogged to the mound.

"I thought the first three pitches were three straight changeups," Gardenhire said.

Walters tried to talk his way into staying in the game.

"He said, 'Skip, I'm fine. I can do this.'" Gardenhire said. "He was trying to protect the bullpen, that's what came out. He finally told me he had a sore shoulder, but no one knew about it. He hadn't said anything. Obviously, he was trying to pitch through something but that's not a good way to go about it tonight because it put us in a pretty big hole."

Walters said he's never had a problem getting loose before. He will have an MRI exam on Thursday. They already plan to recall righthander Lester Oliveros from Class AAA Rochester in time for Thursday's game. They just don't know who will be moved off the active roster to make room for him.

The other issue is the starting rotation. Liam Hendriks is expected to be called up from Rochester this weekend to start. Now the Twins likely will need someone to step in for Walters. Gardenhire said the club will sort through it all on Thursday.

"I couldn't get warmed up in the bullpen," Walters said. "Obviously, I came out in the first inning and it showed. It's just one of those things where I was stiff and just couldn't get it going. Guys pitch all the time through stuff like that and today it just wasn't going to loosen up.

"I've never missed a start before. Obviously I don't think I'll be throwing in five days. Hopefully it's not a big deal."

It was the worst-case scenario for Walters, who tried to walk that fine line between battling through stiffness and hurting his team.

"You never want to leave the field like that," he said. "You always want to be healthy and help your team. And the last thing you want is for the bullpen to throw nine innings. And the offense puts up eight runs and we lose. It was about as bad as you could have drawn it up."

All four batters Walters faced scored, and the Phillies offense didn't stop there. John Mayberry Jr., who was 2-for-5 with four RBI, homered off Jeff Manship in the first inning. Jim Thome cleared the batter's eye behind the center field wall with Hunter Pence aboard in the fourth inning that was estimated at 466 feet, the third longest homer at Target Field.

It also ended up being the game-winning hit, something Thome did a few times with the Twins in 2010 and 2011.

"A man hit that ball," Gardenhire said of Thome, who was 2-for-4 with four RBI.

The Twins got home runs from Trevor Plouffe and Josh Willingham, then revved up the announced crowd of 32,581 with a four-run seventh inning to get them within 9-8. But the Twins ran out of answers against setup man Chad Qualls and closer Jonathan Papelbon.

  • PHILLIES 9, TWINS 8 Up next: 7:10 p.m. today vs. Phillies • Target Field • TV: FSN (1500-AM)

    Review keeps intact Willingham's streak C7 Giants' Cain is perfect C6
  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Team Irvin 32 FINAL
Team Carter 28
Miami 96 FINAL
Chicago 84
Oklahoma City 98 FINAL
Cleveland 108
Dallas 106 FINAL
New Orleans 109
Indiana 106 FINAL
Orlando 99
LA Clippers 120 FINAL
Phoenix 100
Minnesota 100 FINAL
Atlanta 112
Detroit 110 FINAL
Toronto 114
Milwaukee 95 FINAL
San Antonio 101
Boston 111 FINAL
Golden State 114
Washington 117 FINAL
Denver 115
Houston 99 FINAL
LA Lakers 87
Team Toews 17 FINAL
Team Foligno 12
South Florida 53 FINAL
Connecticut 66
Boston College 64 FINAL
Georgia Tech 62
Virginia 50 FINAL
Virginia Tech 47
Indiana 70 FINAL
Ohio State 82
Stony Brook 61 FINAL
Binghamton 54
Cincinnati 56 FINAL
UCF 46
Maine 70 FINAL
Hartford 61
Monmouth 64 FINAL
Manhattan 71
Fairfield 67 FINAL
Marist 73
Rowan 48 FINAL
Princeton 96
St Bonaventure 48 FINAL
Rhode Island 53
Duke 77 FINAL
St Johns 68
Saint Peters 69 FINAL
Siena 55
Drake 40 FINAL
Wichita State 74
Vermont 61 FINAL
UMass Lowell 50
Seton Hall 57 FINAL
Butler 77
South Alabama 55
Northern Iowa 54 FINAL
Illinois State 53
Louisville 80 FINAL
Pittsburgh 68
Albany 69
Niagara 64 FINAL
Iona 87
Notre Dame 81 FINAL
NC State 78
Belmont 63 FINAL
Tennessee St 55
Creighton 50 FINAL
Villanova 71
Northwestern 67 FINAL
Maryland 68
Washington 56 FINAL
Utah 77
Senior-North 34 FINAL
Senior-South 13
Seton Hall 99 FINAL
Georgetown 85
St Johns 69 FINAL
Villanova 81
Arkansas 58 FINAL
Florida 72
Maine 56 FINAL
Vanderbilt 55 FINAL
Alabama 52
Lafayette 60 FINAL
Lehigh 65
SMU 57
Utah 51 FINAL
Washington 63
James Madison 73 FINAL
Coll of Charleston 53
Delaware 56 FINAL
Drexel 61
Hofstra 56 FINAL
William & Mary 57
Hartford 58 FINAL
Albany 82
Binghamton 54 FINAL
Stony Brook 67
Towson 63 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 71
Wake Forest 80 FINAL
(17) Florida State 110
Georgia Tech 68 FINAL
Virginia 62
(22) Georgia 51 FINAL
(5) Tennessee 59
Drake 79 FINAL
Evansville 62
Iona 80 FINAL
Canisius 62
Fairfield 33 FINAL
Monmouth 59
Northwestern 75 FINAL
Penn State 76
Wisconsin 71 FINAL
Michigan State 77
Ohio State 79 FINAL
Purdue 71
Northern Iowa 57 FINAL
Indiana State 55
Butler 58 FINAL
Xavier 54
Creighton 93 FINAL
Marquette 75
Providence 42 FINAL
DePaul 90
Northeastern 77 FINAL
Elon 80
(2) Connecticut 96 FINAL
Cincinnati 31
Oregon 78 FINAL
Arizona 81
Bradley 46 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 45
NC State 49 FINAL
(23) Syracuse 66
(7) Maryland 84 FINAL
Indiana 74
Illinois State 35 FINAL
Missouri State 58
Colorado 68 FINAL
Washington St 73
Tulane 45 FINAL
South Florida 64
(14) Kentucky 83 FINAL
Missouri 69
(9) Oregon State 68 FINAL
(13) Arizona State 57
Vermont 63 FINAL
UMass Lowell 72
Iowa State 58 FINAL
(8) Texas 57
Southern Ill 61 FINAL
Wichita State 80
(15) Duke 74 FINAL
(12) North Carolina 67
Miami-Florida 55 FINAL
(4) Louisville 68
(21) Minnesota 61 FINAL
(25) Rutgers 66
California 72 FINAL
(11) Stanford 71 FINAL
USC 60
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: How optimistic are you about the 2015 Twins?

Weekly Question