Tonkin impresses in Twins debut

  • Article by: PHIL MILLER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 12, 2013 - 1:03 AM

– He wasn’t sure what to expect in his first big-league appearance, but facing a four-time All-Star with an important run in scoring position probably wasn’t it.

So being handed the ball with Evan Longoria at the plate in the seventh inning Thursday made the experience “memorable,” Michael Tonkin said, as though he might forget his MLB debut otherwise.

It was pretty forgettable for Longoria, though.

With Wil Myers standing on third, Tonkin fed the Rays third baseman four fastballs, each registering 93 or 94 miles per hour, to run the count to 1-2. Then he had a surprise. “I usually will give it a little bit more with two strikes, especially if I’m ahead and don’t have to worry about walking him,” Tonkin said of the 96-mph heat that Longoria could only tip into Joe Mauer’s glove for a threat-defusing strike three.

“Pretty exciting,” Tonkin said. “The kind of a situation you want to be in, I guess. You want the tough ones, so it was pretty cool.”

The Twins think so, too, and Tonkin, 23, only added to the excitement by disposing of James Loney, Yunel Escobar and Jose Lobaton with little trouble in the eighth. He mixed fastballs and sliders — the latter the pitch that got him to the big leagues just 13 months after pitching for low Class A Beloit.

Snappers pitching coach Ray Lucas, now with Cedar Rapids, “drilled it into me that I needed to throw [the slider] more, and make it better, and throw it for strikes,” he said. “I started doing that, and it made a big difference.”

He is only guaranteed two more days with the Twins, until Caleb Thielbar returns from his grandmother’s funeral, but Tonkin has been told the Twins are willing to be convinced he should stay. “It’s obviously a huge opportunity,” he said. “Regardless of what happens, it’s an opportunity and I just need to take it for what it’s worth.”

Rochester had just lost in Scranton, Pa., on Tuesday when manager Gene Glynn called the players together for a meeting. “Usually, when you have a meeting after [a loss], it’s not good,” Tonkin said. “But we talked about the game, then [Glynn] told us what happened to Thielbar. After that, he told us I was going up to replace him.”

That set off a scramble back in Glendale, Calif., where Tonkin’s parents hurried to get to Florida for their son’s debut. They will be in New York this weekend, too.

Pelfrey’s outing wasted

Mike Pelfrey couldn’t believe his luck when a bloop single, a check-swing dribbler and a broken-bat single scored a run off him in the third inning Thursday.

“I don’t think I dealt with it very well,” the righthander said. “It ticked me off. But that’s going to happen.”

What really upset him, though, was the sinker that didn’t sink on a 0-2 count in the sixth inning, a pitch that Luke Scott golfed over the right field fence to break a 1-1 tie. When Longoria followed with a blast of his own, Pelfrey took the loss despite a strong outing.

“We tied it up, and I said, ‘Here’s my chance to keep us in the game,’ ” said the righthander, who trimmed his ERA to 5.55 but fell to 4-7. “Then I go out and give up a couple of runs. I just didn’t execute it and [Scott] hit it out. That’s how you ruin a good day.”

Etc.

• Justin Morneau didn’t start Thursday, following Wednesday’s 13-inning loss, and Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said “he was pretty sore today.” But Morneau was on deck as the game ended, ready to pinch-hit. “I’ll say yes, he was [available],” Gardenhire said. “He was going to go up there and try.”

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Atlanta 0 Top 3rd Inning
Detroit 1
Philadelphia 0 Bottom 3rd Inning
Houston 0
St. Louis 2 Bottom 4th Inning
Miami 0
Baltimore 0 Bottom 3rd Inning
Tampa Bay 0
NY Yankees 0 Bottom 3rd Inning
Pittsburgh 0
Chicago Cubs 2:05 PM
San Francisco
Los Angeles 2:05 PM
Chicago WSox
San Diego 2:05 PM
Seattle
Cleveland 2:05 PM
Cincinnati
Milwaukee 2:05 PM
LA Angels
Oakland 2:05 PM
Chicago Cubs
Texas 2:05 PM
Kansas City
Colorado 2:10 PM
Arizona
NY Mets 4:05 PM
Washington
Boston 6:05 PM
Minnesota
Toronto 6:05 PM
Baltimore
Oklahoma City 7:00 PM
Chicago
Dallas 9:30 PM
Portland
Calgary 6:00 PM
Boston
St. Louis 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
Minnesota 6:00 PM
Washington
Toronto 6:30 PM
Tampa Bay
Dallas 6:30 PM
Florida
NY Islanders 7:00 PM
Nashville
Vancouver 8:00 PM
Arizona
Montreal 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Morgan State 3:00 PM
MD-Eastern Shore
Niagara 4:00 PM
Siena
Holy Cross 6:00 PM
Bucknell
Western Ky 6:00 PM
Charlotte
Navy 6:00 PM
Colgate
Temple 6:00 PM
East Carolina
UAB 6:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
Boston Univ 6:00 PM
Lafayette
American Univ 6:00 PM
Lehigh
Wisconsin 6:00 PM
Minnesota
Fairfield 6:00 PM
Saint Peters
Arkansas 6:00 PM
South Carolina
Morehead State 6:00 PM
UT Martin
USC Upstate 6:00 PM
Fla Gulf Coast
Lipscomb 6:00 PM
North Florida
Southern Ill 6:05 PM
Missouri State
Texas State 6:30 PM
Appalachian St
SC State 6:30 PM
Bethune-Cookman
Delaware State 6:30 PM
Coppin State
Middle Tennessee 6:30 PM
FIU
Texas-Arlington 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
Norfolk State 6:30 PM
Hampton
NC A&T 6:30 PM
NC Central
Savannah State 7:00 PM
Florida A&M
Southern Miss 7:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Georgia State 7:00 PM
ULM
Marshall 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Rice 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Ark-Little Rock 7:15 PM
Louisiana
South Alabama 7:30 PM
Arkansas State
Alabama State 7:30 PM
Grambling St
Alabama A&M 7:30 PM
Jackson State
Sam Houston St 7:30 PM
Lamar
Central Arkansas 7:30 PM
Nicholls
Portland State 7:30 PM
Northern Ariz
Southern U 7:30 PM
Prairie View
Alcorn State 7:30 PM
Texas Southern
Houston Baptist 7:30 PM
TX A&M-CC
SE Louisiana 7:45 PM
New Orleans
California 8:00 PM
Arizona
Eastern Ill 8:00 PM
Belmont
Memphis 8:00 PM
Connecticut
VA Commonwealth 8:00 PM
Davidson
Ark-Pine Bluff 8:00 PM
Miss Valley St
Marist 8:00 PM
Quinnipiac
Sacramento St 8:00 PM
Southern Utah
Northwestern St 8:00 PM
Stephen F Austin
North Texas 8:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Colorado 8:00 PM
Washington
Idaho 8:00 PM
Weber State
Abilene Christian 8:00 PM
Incarnate Word
Eastern Wash 8:05 PM
Idaho State
Bradley 8:35 PM
Drake
Cal State Fullerton 9:00 PM
UC Irvine
CS-Northridge 9:00 PM
Long Beach State
UC Riverside 9:00 PM
UC Davis
Stanford 10:00 PM
Arizona State
Utah 10:00 PM
Washington St
Monmouth 68 FINAL
Canisius 56
Wake Forest 85 FINAL
(22) Syracuse 79
Saint Louis 65 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 58
Saint Peters 62 FINAL
Rider 54
UNC Greensboro 44 FINAL
(17) Chattanooga 78
UNC-Asheville 51 2nd Half 0:02
Liberty 57
Michigan State 53 2nd Half 12:53
Michigan 29
Arkansas 29 2nd Half
Ole Miss 28
Manhattan 12:55 PM
Niagara
Massachusetts 1:00 PM
Richmond
Virginia 1:00 PM
Miami-Florida
Campbell 1:00 PM
Winthrop
Jacksonville St 1:00 PM
Belmont
Morgan State 1:00 PM
MD-Eastern Shore
Furman 1:15 PM
Samford
Oregon 1:30 PM
Washington St
Indiana 1:55 PM
(23) Rutgers
Pepperdine 2:00 PM
Loyola Marymount
Auburn 2:25 PM
(18) Texas A&M
Morehead St 3:00 PM
Tennessee St
George Mason 3:30 PM
Saint Josephs
Western Carolina 3:30 PM
East Tenn St
Arizona 4:00 PM
UCLA
Texas State 4:00 PM
Appalachian St
TX-Arlington 4:00 PM
Georgia Southern
SC State 4:30 PM
Bethune-Cookman
Delaware State 4:30 PM
Coppin State
Portland 4:30 PM
Santa Clara
Norfolk State 4:30 PM
Hampton
NC A&T 4:30 PM
NC Central
Savannah State 5:00 PM
Florida A&M
Virginia Tech 5:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Central Arkansas 5:00 PM
Nicholls
Houston Baptist 5:00 PM
TX A&M-CC
Gardner-Webb 5:00 PM
Radford
Georgia 5:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 5:00 PM
Marshall
Ark-Little Rock 5:00 PM
Louisiana
South Alabama 5:05 PM
Arkansas State
Georgia State 5:15 PM
ULM
Sam Houston St 5:30 PM
Lamar
SE Louisiana 5:30 PM
New Orleans
Northwestern St 5:30 PM
Stephen F Austin
Alabama A&M 5:30 PM
Jackson State
Alabama State 5:30 PM
Grambling
Ark-Pine Bluff 5:30 PM
Miss Valley St
Southern U 5:30 PM
Prairie View
Alcorn State 5:30 PM
Texas Southern
Wofford 5:45 PM
Mercer
Abilene Christian 6:00 PM
Incarnate Word
La Salle 6:00 PM
Rhode Island
Illinois 6:00 PM
Nebraska
TX-San Antonio 6:00 PM
Rice
Valparaiso 6:00 PM
Oakland
Missouri State 6:05 PM
Indiana State
Georgia Tech 7:00 PM
(15) North Carolina
Presbyterian 7:00 PM
High Point
Charlotte 7:00 PM
Western Ky
Florida Atlantic 7:00 PM
UAB
Texas-El Paso 7:00 PM
North Texas
Wichita State 7:00 PM
Evansville
Loyola-Chicago 7:00 PM
Northern Iowa
Bradley 7:05 PM
Drake
Vanderbilt 7:30 PM
(12) Kentucky
Colorado 8:00 PM
USC
San Francisco 8:00 PM
Pacific
FIU 8:00 PM
Middle Tennessee
Idaho State 8:00 PM
Eastern Washington
Weber State 8:00 PM
Idaho
Purdue 8:25 PM
Minnesota
Cal-Irvine 9:00 PM
Cal State Fullerton
Long Beach St 9:00 PM
CS-Northridge
Hawaii 9:00 PM
UC Santa Barbara
UC Davis 9:00 PM
UC-Riverside
Northern Ariz 9:00 PM
Portland State
Southern Utah 9:00 PM
Sacramento St
Utah 10:30 PM
Washington
BYU 10:30 PM
St Marys-CA
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: Who is doing the best job coaching a Minnesota pro sports team?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close