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.

Postgame: Without Capps, strategy will be key for Gardenhire

Posted by: Phil Miller under Twins game coverage Updated: July 18, 2012 - 12:37 AM

Did Twins manager Ron Gardenhire do more pacing than usual tonight or did the cameras just capture more shots of him on the move? He looked like he was training to be an Olympic race walker.

“I was really thirsty tonight,” Gardenhire said after his team defeated the Orioles 6-4 in a three-hour, 43-minute marathon. “I just needed water and Gatorade a lot. But there were some big moments there. I get worked up over these things. I still get excited and the adrenaline flows.”

Gardenhire tempted fate in the sixth inning, when he had rookie lefthander Tyler Robertson intentionally walk J.J. Hardy to face Jim Thome. The score was tied 4-4 with two outs, and the walk put runners at first and second for Baltimore.

Thome has 61 career home runs against the Twins, more than any other opposing hitter. He's tied with Sammy Sosa for seventh place on the all-time list with 609 home runs, and if he passes Sosa this week, it would only add to Thome's Target Field lore.

“I walked a guy to get to a Hall of Famer, and I’ve got his baseball over here and he might be mad at me,” Gardenhire said, referring to Thome’s 607th home run ball, which is still sitting on the manager’s desk. “That’s not the greatest moment in the world, thinking how far he wanted to hit that ball, but Tyler made some big pitches on him.”

Robertson ended the seven pitch at-bat with a slider, and Thome swung through it for strike three. Walking back to the dugout, Robertson said, “That was my favorite player growing up.” So yeah, he could have been a little star struck. It only added to the memory for Gardenhire.

“That’s a beautiful thing,” the 11th-year manager said. “That’s what the game’s all about.”

Gardenhire kept facing tough decisions. It’s going to be this way now with Matt Capps on the disabled list again, as Gardenhire and pitching coach Rick Anderson strategize how to finish games. Instead of relying on one closer, they are studying matchups and picking spots for lefty Glen Perkins and righty Jared Burton.

With a 6-4 lead, Perkins overwhelmed the Orioles in the eighth inning, striking out the side with 13 pitches, including 96-97 miles per hour fastballs and several filthy sliders.

Gardenhire sent Perkins back out for the ninth to face lefthanded hitting Nick Markakis, but he summoned Burton to face Hardy after Markakis singled. Hardy grounded into a 6-4-3 double play, but Thome walked, bringing All-Star Adam Jones to the plate. Jones had smashed his 21st homer earlier in the game.

The cameras kept showing Gardenhire pacing, but Burton fanned Jones with an 89-mph fastball, to seal his third save.

“Fun baseball game,” Gardenhire said, sounding very relieved that it was finally over.

Final123456789RHE
Minnesota000000000040
Detroit «00100002X340
@Ballpark Replay
Preview | Matchup | Lineup | Log | Wrap | Box
W:D.Price(15-12) L:K.Gibson(13-12) S:J.Nathan (35)
HR: MIN- None DET- I.Kinsler (17)

ADVERTISEMENT

Houston 0 1st Qtr 10:58
Pittsburgh 0
San Diego 10/23/14 7:25 PM
Denver
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Cleveland
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Chicago 67 3rd Qtr 3:30
Cleveland 76
New Orleans 64 3rd Qtr 3:05
Washington 44
Milwaukee 56 2nd Qtr 1:00
New York 55
Philadelphia 41 2nd Qtr 1:25
Brooklyn 46
Charlotte 43 3rd Qtr
Atlanta 58
Sacramento 7:30 PM
San Antonio
Memphis 7:30 PM
Dallas
Tampa Bay 8:30 PM
Edmonton
Arkansas State 10/21/14 7:00 PM
Louisiana
Connecticut 10/23/14 6:00 PM
(18) East Carolina
Miami-Florida 10/23/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
So Florida 10/24/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Troy 10/24/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 10/24/14 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 10/24/14 9:00 PM
California
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rice
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Arkansas
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Wisconsin
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
SMU
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
Virginia
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Navy
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Toledo
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Stanford
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
UCF
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
Tennessee
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Hawaii
Ottawa 6 FINAL
Hamilton 16
Montreal 20 FINAL
Toronto 12
Calgary 33 FINAL
Winnipeg 23
Edmonton 24 FINAL
Saskatchewan 19
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How confident are you the Twins will improve in 2015?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT