Correia sharp, Twins open road trip with victory over Padres

  • Article by: PHIL MILLER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 21, 2014 - 7:25 AM

Kevin Correia baffled the Padres in five of six innings and got help from two home runs, including a "weird" inside-the-park home run by catcher Kurt Suzuki.

– Kevin Correia kept everything inside the Petco Park fences on Tuesday, if only just barely. Kurt Suzuki cleared the fence, but not officially.

No matter. Correia's performance goes down as a back-on-track victory, Suzuki's blast counts as an inside-the-park home run, and the Twins are still unbeaten in this harborside ballpark after an unusual 5-3 victory over the Padres.

"Interesting," summed up Suzuki, who had never raced full-speed around the bases on one hit before, at any level, until the mis-officiated play in the eighth inning. "Very weird."

Suzuki's home run was a bizarre footnote, though, compared to the homecoming outing by Correia, who entered the game with a 1-5 record and a 6.80 ERA. The veteran righthander, who grew up about 10 miles away and pitched for his hometown team for two seasons, retired the first 12 batters he faced, lasted six innings for the first time since May 3, and struck out a batter in each inning. "I dug myself a pretty big hole this season to start the year," Correia said. "Any good game at this point is a relief."

Correia, who has pitched in Petco Park more than any ballpark except San Francisco's AT&T Park, seemed to use every bit of that institutional knowledge, every inch of the spacious outfield, to his advantage. Three Padres fly balls were caught with a Twins outfielder's back to the fence, and a sure game-tying double by Headley landed an inch or two foul in deep right field. In a different park, perhaps Target Field, those balls might have ruined an otherwise happy homecoming for Correia.

Those balls "didn't used to be to the fence when I was here," said Correia, pointing out that the Padres have moved the right-field fence in by several feet since he left. "If they had all gotten over the fence, I would have been pretty angry. They were outs when I was here."

Still, he got plenty of outs; five of his six innings were hitless. But he experienced a three-run hiccup in the fifth inning, turning his early two-run lead into a sudden 3-2 deficit even though, Suzuki said, "besides Headley's ball down the line, nothing was really barreled up too good. It was just seeing-eye singles."

They were provided, after Headley sliced a leadoff double into the corner to break up Correia's perfect 12-up-12-down start, by Will Venable and Jedd Gyorko, the latter providing the Padres' first run. Correia induced two straight fly balls, but the first one sent right fielder Chris Parmelee to the right-field wall, allowing both runners to move up, and the second one scored Venable from third.

Then came Correia's worst moment: He centered a pitch in the strike zone to Ian Kennedy, and the .125-hitting pitcher laced a single up the middle, giving himself the lead.

"I was mad at myself for giving up a hit to the pitcher," Correia said. "I didn't concentrate on making a really good first pitch. I threw him a first-pitch cutter and didn't concentrate on getting it down and away."

The Twins struck back quickly, however, with Trevor Plouffe leading off the sixth inning by doubling into the right-field corner, delighting a large crowd of family members near the visiting dugout with his AL-leading 18th double of the season.

He moved to third on a Chris Parmelee ground out, and after Suzuki struck out, Plouffe still tied the score when a Kennedy pitch to Jason Kubel bounced in the dirt and past catcher Yasmani Grandal. Kennedy inflicted similar damage to his own cause in the seventh inning, too, bouncing another pitch to the backstop and allowing Eduardo Escobar to move up a base and score on Josmil Pinto's sacrifice fly, enabling Correia to earn his second victory of the season.

Jared Burton rescued that win by bailing out Brian Duensing in the seventh, retiring three straight batters after the first two in the inning reached base. "Burton was huge. He came in in a big situation and got some big outs for us," manager Ron Gardenhire said of the reliever, who has allowed one run in his last nine appearances. "He's been throwing well. He kept telling us, 'I'm getting closer, I'm getting closer,' so obviously he's feeling it come out of his hand better."

The Twins' final run came on Suzuki's blast to left field, a ball that just cleared the left-field wall, and left fielder Seth Smith's glove, then bounced back onto the warning track. Second base umpire Andy Fletcher incorrectly called the ball in play, but Smith, apparently realizing the call was wrong and would be overturned, chose not to pursue the ball as it rolled away.

"I just kept running. I had a pretty good idea it went out, but I got towards third base and I said, 'shoot, I might as well keep going," said Suzuki, who raced around the bases as center fielder Will Venable ran after the ball. Suzuki slid home just ahead of the relay to the plate, his second home run of the season and first inside-the-park home run of his career.

The umpires briefly conferred about the play, but since it was a home run either way, let Fletcher's incorrect call stand, making the play officially the Twins' first inside-the-park homer since Joe Mauer hit one in the Metrodome against the Angels on July 21, 2007. The umpires "said they were going to look at it. I said, 'we're fine,' " Gardenhire said. "I didn't want to challenge something and have them say it was fan interference and [Suzuki] gets a double. I think he would shoot me."

Instead, he was beaming afterward about a personal first. "Inside the park is way cooler," Suzuki said.

  • related content

  • Video: Suzuki on inside-park HR: "Very weird"

    Wednesday May 21, 2014

    Twins catcher Kurt Suzuki says he thought he'd hit home run Tuesday, but just kept running, just in case.

  • Photo gallery: Twins 5, San Diego 3

    Wednesday May 21, 2014

    The Twins opened a five-game West Coast road trip against NL teams with a 5-3 victory at San Diego...

  • Perkins fondly recalls San Diego meeting with Maddux

    Wednesday May 21, 2014

    SAN DIEGO – Glen Perkins had a question right away for Team USA’s pitching coach when he reported to the...

  • Postgame: Burton the unsung hero of Twins' win

    Wednesday May 21, 2014

    The reliever, whose season has been rocky so far, worked out a jam to preserve a one-run lead in the seventh inning.

  • Game recap: Twins 5, San Diego 3

    Wednesday May 21, 2014

    GAME RECAPImpact playerTrevor Plouffe, TwinsHis single drove in a run, and his double allowed him to score tying run.BY THE...

  • Watch Kurt Suzuki's inside-the-park home run

    Wednesday May 21, 2014

    Here's a look at the first inside-the-park home run by a Twins player since Joe Mauer did it at the...

  • Padres catcher Nick Hundley knocked down the late throw as Twins counterpark Kurt Suzuki touched the plate with an inside-the-park home run in the eighth inning Tuesday night.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions
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 23 FINAL
Pittsburgh 30
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 98 FINAL
Cleveland 107
New Orleans 88 FINAL
Washington 84
Milwaukee 120 FINAL
New York 107
Philadelphia 88 FINAL
Brooklyn 99
Charlotte 114 FINAL
Atlanta 117
Sacramento 99 FINAL
San Antonio 106
Memphis 103 FINAL
Dallas 108
Tampa Bay 2 FINAL
Edmonton 3
Arkansas State 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
Montreal 10/24/14 5:30 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 10/24/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
Hamilton 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Winnipeg
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

 
Close