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: Hernandez thrilled by first victory

Posted by: Phil Miller under MLB Updated: April 27, 2013 - 8:35 PM

Pedro Hernandez's command of English is good enough to convey how happy he was Saturday. Actually, his broad smile was enough.

The Venezuelan lefthander had a game ball in his locker after the Twins' 7-2 win over Texas, a souvenir that he said he intends to put next to his daughter's crib as a gift. "She deserves it," Hernandez said.

Her dad wasn't bad, either. Because of all the rainouts and off days, Hernandez has pitched only one inning since April 12, so the Twins weren't certain how he would look in his second start of the year. But his second was even more efficient than his first.

Hernandez allowed a baserunner in each of the first four innings, and there were a handful of hard-hit balls that were turned into outs by a sometimes-spectacular Twins defense. But mostly, the lefthander kept the Rangers chasing his surprisingly effective curveball.

"He threw a lot of off-speed stuff," Texas manager Ron Washington said. "Gotta give him credit -- he kept us off-balance. He went five innings and shut us out."

He was willing to go farther, considering he had only thrown 80 pitches and had retired eight of the final nine batters he faced, but the Twins didn't want to risk injury, given how little he's pitched. He might have to wait awhile for his next start, too; with an off day coming on Thursday, it's possible he won't start again until Tuesday, May 7 in Boston, should manager Ron Gardenhire decide to skip his turn in Cleveland next Friday.

Hernandez sometimes almost seems like he can't believe he's here, so his reaction after becoming a winning pitcher was understandable.

"I don't know what to say right now. This is a beautiful experience, it's a beautiful emotion for me," Hernandez said. "I'm just so happy."

A couple more thoughts from a gorgeous spring afternoon:

-- Brian Dozier made an aggressive play on what looked like a passed ball in the sixth inning, but he was sent back to second base. Catcher A.J. Pierzynski blocked a ball in the dirt, jumped up and grabbed it; as he turned toward the plate, the ball squirted out of his glove and rolled several feet away.

As Dozier pulled into third base, umpire Alfonso Marquez waved him back to third, ruling that time had been called. Dozier, and then Gardenhire, complained, but the call stood.

"The umpire said he made a mistake. He called time too early," Dozier said. "He even told Gardy, 'Listen, I made a mistake.' "

-- The Twins are now 10-10 on the season, which isn't bad considering all the bad weather they've played in and how much of an effect (arguably) that it's had on their offense. The Twins came into the day ranked last in the American League in hits, doubles, RBIs and slugging percentage, and next-to-last in runs and home runs. Joe Mauer is the only regular hitting above .255, and even he is in the midst of an 0-for-12 mini-slump.

And 10 wins is even more impressive when you consider how far ahead of their 2012 pace they are. Last year, they won their 10th game on Sunday, May 13 -- "improving" them to 10-24.

 

Final(10)2345678910RHE
Minnesota «00201000611140
Kansas City0011010005121
@Ballpark Replay
Preview | Matchup | Lineup | Log | Wrap | Box
W:A.Swarzak(3-1) L:B.Chen(2-4)
HR: MIN- None KAN- A.Gordon (17)

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Chicago Cubs - LP: J. Arrieta 2 FINAL
Cincinnati - WP: D. Axelrod 7
NY Yankees - LP: S. Kelley 2 FINAL
Detroit - WP: P. Coke 3
Colorado - LP: J. Lyles 1 FINAL
San Francisco - WP: Y. Petit 4
Tampa Bay - LP: K. Yates 4 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: A. Miller 5
Atlanta - WP: M. Minor 6 FINAL
NY Mets - LP: J. Niese 1
Cleveland - WP: C. Carrasco 3 FINAL
Chicago WSox - LP: J. Danks 2
Minnesota - WP: A. Swarzak 11 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: B. Chen 5
Texas - LP: R. Mendez 2 FINAL
Houston - WP: C. McHugh 4
Oakland - LP: R. Cook 3 FINAL
LA Angels - WP: F. Salas 4
Atlanta 24 FINAL
Jacksonville 14
Detroit 23 FINAL
Buffalo 0
Indianapolis 7 FINAL
Cincinnati 35
Kansas City 14 FINAL
Green Bay 34
NY Jets 7 FINAL
Philadelphia 37
St. Louis 13 FINAL
Miami 14
Carolina 10 FINAL
Pittsburgh 0
New England 13 FINAL
NY Giants 16
Washington 24 FINAL
Tampa Bay 10
Baltimore 22 FINAL
New Orleans 13
Chicago 13 FINAL
Cleveland 33
Denver 27 FINAL
Dallas 3
Minnesota 19 FINAL
Tennessee 3
San Francisco 40 FINAL
Houston 13
Arizona 9 FINAL
San Diego 12
Seattle 31 FINAL
Oakland 41
(21) Texas A&M 52 FINAL
(9) So Carolina 28
Wake Forest 10 FINAL
ULM 17
Boise State 13 FINAL
(18) Ole Miss 35
Tulane 31 FINAL
Tulsa 38
Rutgers 41 FINAL
Washington St 38
Weber State 14 FINAL
(19) Arizona State 45
Temple 37 FINAL
Vanderbilt 7
BYU 6:00 PM
Connecticut
(6) Jacksonville St 6:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Bowling Green 6:30 PM
Western Ky
TX-San Antonio 8:00 PM
Houston
Colorado State 8:00 PM
Colorado
UNLV 9:30 PM
Arizona
Penn State 8/30/14 7:30 AM
UCF
Troy 8/30/14 11:00 AM
UAB
(7) UCLA 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Virginia
Western Mich 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
(5) Ohio State 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Navy
Appalachian St 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Michigan
Ga Southern 8/30/14 11:30 AM
NC State
Boston College 8/30/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
West Virginia 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(2) Alabama
Rice 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
(10) South Dakota St 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(24) Missouri
Fla Atlantic 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(22) Nebraska
California 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Marshall 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
UC Davis 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(11) Stanford
Arkansas 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(6) Auburn
(16) Clemson 8/30/14 4:30 PM
(12) Georgia
Liberty 8/30/14 5:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Ohio U 8/30/14 5:00 PM
Kent State
Louisiana Tech 8/30/14 6:00 PM
(4) Oklahoma
Idaho 8/30/14 6:00 PM
Florida
Stephen F Austin 8/30/14 6:10 PM
(20) Kansas State
Fresno State 8/30/14 6:30 PM
(15) USC
Southern Miss 8/30/14 6:30 PM
Miss State
Texas-El Paso 8/30/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
North Texas 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Texas
(1) Florida State 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Oklahoma State
(14) Wisconsin 8/30/14 8:00 PM
(13) LSU
South Dakota 8/30/14 9:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(25) Washington 8/30/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
Tennessee
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Louisville
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Ottawa 6:30 PM
Montreal
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Saskatchewan 9/7/14 3:00 PM
Winnipeg
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