A bunch of leftovers from Chris Colabello’s welcome-home party, which snapped the Twins’ five-game winning streak:
— Trevor May didn’t pitch well enough on Friday, but he had some bad luck, too. Kevin Pillar doubled in the second inning and singled in the fifth, scoring both times, and both balls probably should have been caught. Left fielder Shane Robinson just missed the double, after taking an indirect route to the ball, and the single was a line drive that bounced off Danny Santana’s glove.
That fifth-inning hit was followed by a strikeout of Ryan Goins and a grounder up the middle by Jose Reyes that got through to the outfield. That brought up Josh Donaldson, the hottest hitter in the major leagues. “I think my big mistake was the changeup to Donaldson,” May deadpanned, because the pitch landed in the grass behind the center-field fence, a three-run, game-tying shot. It’s Donaldson’s 14th of the year.
“I feel like I was behind just about everybody,” May said after extending the count to three balls to eight of the 25 hitters he faced.
— His two-run homer in the ninth made Chris Colabello the hero for Toronto, but he was almost one of the Jays’ biggest culprits. The Blue Jays loaded the bases in the first inning, and with two outs, the former Twin came to the plate for his first at-bat in Target Field since changing teams last winter.
“I was taking deep breaths and trying to slow everything down. I got in the box and felt my legs shaking a little bit, kind of like Opening Day jitters,” Colabello said. “So I just tried to get back to some deep breathing stuff and just remember I’m playing baseball and enjoy the game.”
He didn’t enjoy what happened next, though: Colabello hit a two-hop grounder to Trevor Plouffe that the third baseman easily turned into the third out.
— Eduardo Escobar or Aaron Hicks could have completely changed the game with a first-inning single. Five of the first six Twins collected base hits, and the Blue Jays already had a reliever warming up when Escobar came up to bat. “I think I was one more batter away from being taken out and going two-thirds of an inning,” Toronto starter Mark Buehrle said. But Escobar hit a sacrifice fly and Hicks flied out to right, and Buehrle stayed in the game. For eight more innings.
“I didn’t change anything. I think it was a lot of luck after the first inning,” said Buehrle, who allowed only one more hit the rest of the way. “There were a lot of balls hit in the air towards the warning track. That’s a sign of not being on my game. … I wouldn’t have thought I’d go a complete game with the stuff I had today.”
— Jose Reyes, who four times has led the National League in triples, doesn’t have one this year. In fact, he has only four since joining the Blue Jays. He almost got one on Friday, though — but Torii Hunter and Brian Dozier prevented it.
Reyes hit a ball into the right-field corner in the second inning, and was rounding second before Hunter could catch up to it. But Hunter relayed the ball to Dozier, who caught it, whirled and threw in one motion.
“It was a nice relay,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said. “It looked like [Reyes] was fighting it just a bit; he’s had issues with his legs. He didn’t have the finishing speed we’ve seen in the past and it gave us an opportunity. Torii hit the relay man, which we preach as much as we can. And Doz threw a nice one-hopper to get that out.”
— Molitor, by the way, is rarely critical of umpires. So his statement that Glen Perkins “made some close pitches” to Russell Martin in the ninth inning before walking him is a pretty good indication of what the Twins’ dugout felt about home-plate ump Chris Guccione’s strike zone.