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: Twins benefited from obstruction

Posted by: Phil Miller under MLB, Off the field Updated: July 30, 2014 - 12:16 AM

    A weird game to open a weeklong road trip. Here are four leftover examples:

    COLLISION ON THE BASES: Ron Gardenhire was ejected over one strange play Tuesday night, but it wasn't the only odd happening. For one thing, Trevor Plouffe stole a base, the first time he's even tried since last August. But the weirdest play came in the fifth inning. After a one-out double by Danny Santana and a single by Sam Fuld, Brian Dozier lined another single at Alex Gordon in left, scoring Santana. But as Fuld rounded second base, he ran into Royals second baseman Omar Infante, and third-base umpire Alfonso Marquez quickly stopped play and awarded Fuld third base and Dozier second. K.C. manager Ned Yost came out to argue, saying that because Fuld stopped once the collision occurred, no more bases should be awarded. But part of the reason that Fuld stopped was that Infante had obstructed his view of Gordon making the play, so he was placed on third. It ultimately didn't matter; the next batter, Josh Willingham, was hit by a pitch to load the bases, but Chris Parmelee grounded into a double play, ending the inning before the Twins could capitalize further.

    WEB GEM FOR HAMMER: Speaking of Willingham, he made a couple of unusual contributions, too. In the first inning, with three infielders on the left side, Willingham defied the shift and grounded a single to right -- just his second hit to the opposite field all season. And in the ninth inning, after Glen Perkins gave up two sharp hits to open the inning, Willingham came racing in to make a shoestring catch of Salvador Perez's sinking liner, perhaps the defensive play of the night. Had Perez's hit fallen, the Royals would have had three shots at tying the game.

    FOUR PITCHES TOO MANY: Kyle Gibson's retired the side in the seventh by getting Perez to fly out on the first pitch, Gordon to ground out on an 0-and-1 count, and Billy Butler to ground out on the first pitch. That gave him 95 pitches on the night -- and hopes of going another inning. "that was exactly what was going through my head. I was like, all right, perfect -- walking off the field after seven, had a quick seventh, hopefully they'll let me go back out," Gibson said. "But being on the 10 days of rest, they just wanted to make sure I didn't go out for an extra inning and get tighter." So his night was over, a contrast to his opponent's. Royals starter James Shields needed 124 pitches to get through six innings, the most pitches he's ever thrown in his two seasons in Kansas City. He also failed on his fourth attempt at his 10th win.

    IT'S ALL ON THE VIDEO: Gibson ended the third inning by picking off Alcides Escobar, an out that happened because of something he noticed while watching video during his layoff.  "I felt like I was getting a little predictable in my timing. I was doing the same things, going home," Gibson said. "I don't want to talk too much about what I saw on video, but that's what I thought about on the pickoff: 'OK, you just saw some video, do what you normally do going home, and keep that same timing.' " He did, then suddenly turned to first, and caught Escobar scrambling back to the bag.

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