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La Velle E. Neal III and Phil Miller report on the Twins from wherever they make news

Postgame: Emotions of the moment derail another Duffey start

    CHICAGO — Even from the press box, you could see Tyler Duffey’s fury. The 25-year-old righthander fumes at himself, boils with anger when things go wrong, but this time he had a new target.

    Duffey walked Adam Eaton on a 3-2 pitch to start the third inning, then went to 3-2 on Tim Anderson. And after fouling off a couple of pitches, Anderson was sitting on a fastball, Duffey’s seventh of the at-bat. When he got it, he launched it deep into the bleachers in left-center.

    That’s why Duffey was mad at Duffey. But Anderson turned his back to home plate, dropped his bat with a flourish and slowly began backpedaling toward first base, the better to observe the ball enter the stratosphere. That’s why Duffey was even angrier.

    “It’s one thing to hit a homer, but … “ Duffey’s voice trailed off after the game. “I mean, I gave up a 500-foot homer to [Seattle’s] Nelson Cruz, and he [just] jogs around the bases.”

    Duffey stared at Anderson as he rounded third base and headed toward home, and some of the White Sox began watching him, just in case. Nothing happened, except the young pitcher appeared furious on the mound. Brian Dozier jogged over to make sure Duffey remained focused.

    It’s debatable whether he was. Melky Cabrera roped Duffey’s next pitch into deep center field, and Byron Buxton, trying to avoid a collision with right fielder Logan Schafer, couldn’t hold on to it. Next batter, Jose Abreu, lined a ball into the left-field corner for another double, and Paul Molitor hopped out of the dugout to remove his pitcher.

    Duffey’s teammates were apparently just as offended. When Anderson came to bat in the eighth, needing a double to complete the cycle, he was nearly hit by a Ryan O’Rourke pitch, and both benches were warned about further antagonism. Anderson eventually grounded out, and home plate ump Tripp Gibson was careful to stay between Anderson and O’Rourke as they left the field.

    Molitor was asked after the game: Was Duffey still flustered when he faced his final two batters?

    “It’s a redundant topic,” the manager said. “We talk a lot about him and how he pitches and the fact that he gets very emotional on the mound.”

    He was already upset, Molitor said, by how the game started. Buxton was unable to catch Anderson’s first inning fly ball, which was scored a triple, and Cabrera drove him in with a double, then scored himself on a wild pitch.

    “He came in and was disappointed that he wasn’t able to pick us up in the inning,” Molitor said. “The wild pitch, giving up a second run … He rebounded by striking out [all three batters] in the second, but the third inning came and he got into trouble.”

In Chicago, Duffey is Twins' last hope for 10-game winner

    CHICAGO — Only twice in a full season has a Twins pitching staff not had a 10-game winner, and both instances happened during the past six seasons — 2011 and 2013. The 2016 season will be added to that regrettable list unless Tyler Duffey can beat the White Sox for the first time in his career.

    Duffey, 9-11 with a 6.18 ERA, will face lefthander Carlos Rodon in the first game of the season’s final series — unless rain intervenes. Showers have persisted much of the day, and the field at U.S. Cellular Field remains covered, but the teams hope to get the game in tonight. The alternative is a doubleheader tomorrow, yet another weather-related obstacle in a season full of them. “We’ve had a lot of experience with that this year,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said. “I’m trying to stay optimistic.”

    He feels the same way about Duffey, whose season has been a disappointment, but one that the Twins are willing to chalk up to the growing pains of a 25-year-old. “We still have been trying to encourage him to incorporate a changeup a little bit to give the hitters another thing to think about,” Molitor said. “Counts seem to make a big difference in how he does. When he gets ahead, he gets hitters to chase.”

    Brian Dozier is back in the lineup tonight, ready to resume his chase of 100 RBIs — he need one more — and his chase of the MLB record for home runs by a second baseman — he needs two. Dozier took his first day off since May on Thursday, and “I hope it helps a little,” Molitor said. “You try to gauge those things, what can one day do. A lot of times, you get a chance to back off [from] the mental grind, it can help. He’s been out there every day for a long time.”

    Here are the lineups for tonight’s game, if it happens:

TWINS

 

Dozier 2B

Polanco SS

Grossman LF

Sano DH

Vargas 1B

Escobar 3B

Murphy C

Schafer RF

Buxton CF

 

Duffey RHP

 

WHITE SOX

 

Eaton RF

Anderson SS

Cabrera LF

Abreu 1b

Morneau DH

Frazier 3B

Sanchez 2B

Narvaez C

L. Garcia CF

 

Rodon LHP

Final, 9/30 R H E
Minnesota 57-103 3 6 0
Chicago White Sox 78-82 7 12 1