Phil Miller covered three seasons of Twins baseball, but that was at a different ballpark for a different newspaper. Now Miller returns to the baseball beat after joining the Star Tribune as the Gopher football writer in 2010, and he won't miss the dingy dome for a minute. In addition to the Twins and Gophers, Miller covered the Utah Jazz and the NBA for six years at The Salt Lake Tribune.
The Twins played an ugly game in Saturday’s 9-3 loss to Oakland, and Manager Ron Gardenhire didn’t let any of it slide.
“Bad ballgame,” Gardenhire said. “Right from the start, everything [Cole De Vries] threw was up. You could see even the pitches they were swinging through were belt-high, across the plate, and he was just never really able to make any adjustments."
De Vries put the Twins in a 4-0, first-inning hole, and they couldn’t climb out of it. By game’s end, they had 14 hits and three runs, which made the mistakes they made on the bases all the more glaring.
“Sloppy baserunning,” Gardenhire said. “Silly outs on the basepaths.”
* Trailing 4-0 in the second, Ryan Doumit hit a hard smash down the left-field line. It bounced toward Oakland left fielder Seth Smith, and Doumit still tried going for second, getting thrown out easily.
“It’s aggressive," Gardenhire said. "But there’s also a fine line between aggressive and good, and we weren’t very good."
* Trailing 6-1 in the third, Denard Span bunted for a single, then tried for second when catcher Kurt Suzuki’s throw went into foul territory. Right fielder Brandon Moss fired to second for the out.
“Span’s was aggressive,” Gardenhire said. “The guy made a heck of a throw on him, but I think if he would have picked up his head as he went down the baseline -- he went a little too far down the baseline [before turning for second].”
* Trailing 8-2 in the seventh, the Twins had runners on second and third, when Joe Mauer hit a bouncer to third baseman Brandon Inge. Revere sped from second base and ran into an out. He was called for running out of the baseline, as Inge reached to tag him before firing to first for a double play.
“We’re down six runs; that’s just silly,” Gardenhire said. “Even if you end up staying at second base, the ball’s in front of you. You just can’t get tagged there. That’s bad baserunning.”
The sloppiness moved to the field in the ninth. Kurt Suzuki doubled into the left-center gap and advanced to third on an error by Span. His throw got past shortstop Brian Dozier. Second baseman Jamey Carroll was backing up the play, but it never got any prettier.
“Span throws it in soft,” Gardenhire said. “Our shortstop’s got [three] choices: Go get the ball, back up, or just let it go to the next guy [Carroll]. We took the wrong choice -- tried to pick it -- it bounced all over; that’s embarrassing.”
Gardenhire also thought Revere should have played Seth Smith's ninth-inning drive off wall, instead of making a futile leap, which allowed Smith to run for a triple.
"A bad night for our baseball team," Gardenhire said. "It starts with the starting pitcher, and we went from there."
|Seattle - LP: C. Furbush||8||FINAL|
|Cleveland - WP: J. Smith||10|
|Tampa Bay - LP: J. Lueke||5||FINAL|
|Toronto - WP: R. Dickey||7|
|NY Yankees - WP: D. Robertson||6||FINAL|
|Baltimore - LP: P. Strop||4|
|Cincinnati - WP: J. Cueto||4||FINAL|
|NY Mets - LP: S. Marcum||3|
|Philadelphia - LP: C. Hamels||1||FINAL|
|Miami - WP: A. Sanabia||5|
|Minnesota - LP: K. Correia||1||FINAL|
|Atlanta - WP: J. Teheran||5|
|Oakland - WP: B. Colon||9||FINAL|
|Texas - LP: J. Lindblom||2|
|Los Angeles - WP: C. Kershaw||3||FINAL|
|Milwaukee - LP: Y. Gallardo||1|
|Boston - LP: J. Lester||4||FINAL|
|Chicago WSox - WP: D. Axelrod||6|
|Kansas City - LP: J. Guthrie||5||FINAL|
|Houston - WP: D. Keuchel||6|
|Arizona - WP: P. Corbin||5||FINAL|
|Colorado - LP: J. Garland||1|
|St. Louis - LP: S. Miller||2||FINAL|
|San Diego - WP: J. Marquis||4|
|Washington - LP: Z. Duke||0||FINAL|
|San Francisco - WP: R. Vogelsong||8|