Early slam doesn't last, nor does Arcia

  • Article by: PHIL MILLER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 6, 2014 - 12:43 AM

Oswaldo Arcia followed his slam by turning an ankle, while Kevin Correia struggled again.

Oswaldo Arcia didn’t stop to watch his home run Thursday night, and he wasted no time hustling around the bases. No one could accuse him of grandstanding over his grand slam.

Good thing, too, because that moment of triumph didn’t last much longer than his trot.

Arcia homered for the second night in a row, but Kevin Correia and the Twins bullpen couldn’t hold the lead, and Milwaukee claimed a split of the four-game, two-city series with an 8-5 victory at Target Field.

Even worse: Like the lead he provided, Arcia didn’t last. The young outfielder limped off the field in the sixth inning after spraining his right ankle during a rundown. The Venezuelan was removed from the game; afterward, the Twins said the sprain was minor, and Arcia day-to-day.

“He was a little sore walking out,” manager Ron Gardenhire said. “They tell me it’s not that bad.”

No, but plenty of other stuff was. Arcia was one of two Twins runners thrown out at second base. An error by third baseman Eduardo Nunez resulted in an unearned run. Trevor Plouffe made a spontaneous decision to bunt that Gardenhire questioned. And Correia gave up four runs or more for the seventh time in 12 starts.

The veteran righthander’s ERA ballooned to 6.11, and the Twins dropped to 3-9 when Correia starts. Considering four starting pitchers at Class AAA Rochester have ERAs below 3.00, might the Twins be tempted to try someone else?

“Kevin’s one of our starters. [He’s] paid good money to do that, and he’s still going to get paid no matter what, so he’s one of our starters,” Gardenhire said. “We need him to be a little more consistent, but he’s one of our starters right now. The guys in Triple-A have had their ups and downs, too. They’ve had some good starts and bad starts, and believe me, we know where they’re at.”

Home runs had not been a problem for Correia; only once before had he given up two in a game this year. But staked to a 4-0 lead on Arcia’s third-inning blast, the Twins’ first grand slam of the season, Correia immediately saw that lead trimmed to one. Ryan Braun and Jonathan Lucroy led off the fourth inning with singles, and former Twins outfielder Carlos Gomez pounded a fastball 400 feet to straightaway center, cutting the lead to 4-3.

In the sixth, Correia gave up a ground ball single that Nunez couldn’t reach, followed by an opposite-field shot by Khris Davis that gave Milwaukee the lead for good.

“I just threw a couple of bad pitches at the wrong time,” Correia said. “They’re arguably probably the best-hitting team in the National League. I know what they can do.”

It was a disappointing Turn Back the Clock night — both teams wore uniforms circa 1984, with the Twins sporting their road baby blues — all the way around. The Twins have been without Arcia for much of the season, thanks to a wrist injury that cost him nearly two months on the disabled list.

Arcia homered Wednesday, too, a three-run blow that he stood and watched from home plate. He took no chances Thursday. As his cannonshot off Wily Peralta — estimated distance 422 feet onto the the right-field plaza — left the ballpark, Arcia raced around the bases, almost as though the ball was in play.

But his night ended two innings later. After smashing a leadoff double, Arcia started toward third as Plouffe unsuccessfully attempted a drag bunt, then stopped. But his legs crumpled under him, and he limped back to second, easily thrown out. He walked slowly back to the dugout, and appeared angry as trainers tended to his ankle.

“He jumped a little too far, got a little anxious and ended up rolling it,” Gardenhire said. “He’s got to be a little more under control.”



 

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