Thielbar's family too busy for Minnesota native's first victory

  • Article by: PHIL MILLER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 2, 2013 - 9:03 AM

“A few friends” were in the Target Field crowd to witness Caleb Thielbar’s first major league victory Saturday, the lefthander from Randolph, Minn., said.

Can’t blame the Thielbar family for being proud today. And probably annoyed with themselves, too.

“A few friends” were in the Target Field crowd to witness Caleb Thielbar’s first major league victory Saturday, the lefthander from Randolph, Minn., said.

“Not a lot of family, actually,” he added. “They had a lot of things to do today.”

Well, presumably they had a celebration Saturday night, because Thielbar pitched a scoreless ninth inning against Seattle, then watched as the Twins’ three-run rally made him the winning pitcher in a 5-4 victory. He even got a great souvenir to go with the statistic.

“We gave him the ball. We actually got the ball [after Ryan Doumit’s walk-off triple], I don’t know how we did that,” said manager Ron Gardenhire, who calls the 25-year-old pitcher “T-bar.” “I got the ball and presented it to him, and that’s cool thing.”

So is Thielbar’s perfect record as a big leaguer; since being called up from Class AAA Rochester on May 20, Thielbar has pitched 7⅓ innings, and he has yet to give up a run. Saturday, he gave up a leadoff single to Endy Chavez, only the third hit he has surrendered, but got Jason Bay to hit into a double play and struck out Kyle Seager.

“It’s tough to get a guy to ground into a double play [on a] 3-1 [count],” Thielbar said of Bay, who homered twice Saturday. “I was lucky he rolled over one.”

Correia’s shaky seventh

Kevin Correia had thrown 97 pitches after six innings, but Gardenhire said he had no hesitation about letting him pitch the seventh, too. It didn’t work out well — after two quick outs, Correia gave up Bay’s second solo home run of the day and a single to Seager, who eventually scored — but “I would do it again,” Gardenhire said.

“He was throwing the ball great. ... That was his ballgame, and we needed him to try to get through seven,” the manager said. “Unfortunately to Bay, he just threw another — I think it was a cutter, just like the first home run, and it just kind of spun there. If he’d have got it down, it would’ve been probably a rollover, but he hung it up there.”

Correia was happy with his day, too. He didn’t walk a batter after the second inning, and he had retired nine of 10 batters before Bay’s second home run.

“I pretty much cruised after the first” inning, he said after finishing with 110 pitches, a season high. “It’s all the way you throw them. If you go 100 pitches in four innings, it feels a lot worse than throwing 120 in seven. Besides that one bad pitch to Bay, I still felt good.”

Etc.

• Justin Morneau came to Target Field despite flulike symptoms, the Twins said, and he spent much of the morning lying down in the trainers room. Gardenhire put in rookie Chris Colabello, who went 1-for-4. The Twins hope Morneau will be recovered for Sunday’s game.

• The Mariners called up Jeremy Bonderman, who won 67 games with Detroit and is 5-6 in 17 starts against the Twins, to pitch Sunday, his first major league start since 2010. The Twins are trying to track down some recent tapes of him in the minor leagues, because “the old stuff won’t do us any good,” Gardenhire said.

• Former Indiana and Texas Tech men’s basketball coach Bob Knight sat directly behind the plate for the first half of the game, alongside Star Tribune columnist Sid Hartman.

• Making his second start at Class AAA Rochester, Vance Worley gave up four runs on 10 hits and a walk in seven innings in a 4-3 loss at Charlotte. Worley struck out seven and gave up all four runs in the first two innings.

• The Mariners said catcher Jesus Montero will be out for four to six weeks following surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee.

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