Some tidbits after the Twins split two games against the Royals:
Paul Molitor has to be pleased that he got through two doubleheaders in four days while needing just seven relievers in the four games. He needed three for the two games against Colorado, then four on Sunday against the Royals. Adam Wilk being able to go 3.2 innings in relief of Phil Hughes in the first game was significant.
Tough break for Hughes if he, indeed is having problems with his shoulder again. But I wonder if he was having problems before Sunday that he brushed off as regular soreness? Only because he hasn't pitched well for three consecutive outings now. The Twins really don't have enough starting pitching inventory to deal with injuries. Aldalberto Mejia pitched fairly well on Sunday - there was some hard contact - and should get another chance. Kyle Gibson has to prove he's a changed man when he faces Baltimore on Monday. He can no longer be the nibbler. Boy, Ryan Vogelsong would have been way in the rotation now if he hadn't asked for his release during spring training.
Salvador Perez continued his assault on Target Field. He hit three homers in the two games to give him 13, second only to Jose Bautista's 14. Perez now is batting .360 at Target Field with 14 homers and 39 RBI in 52 games.
Some followers on Twitter went bonkers when Eduardo Escobar pinch hit for Kennys Vargas in the seventh inning of game one, but it was sound strategy. Lefthander Matt Strahm was on the mound, and Escobar was batting .344 against lefties in contrast to Vargas' .095 average. It looked bad in the ninth when Escobar had to face Kelvin Herrera with the game on the line and Molitor out of options.
Back to the hard contact against Mejia. Two hard hit balls were in the sixth. Eric Hosmer sent a liner that Max Kepler broke in perfectly on and made a sliding catch. Perez followed with a drive to right-center that made Kepler sprint back before making a leaping catch. "He made a great read on the ball he came in on and had good field presence as far as the ability to leap and make that catch at the wall," Molitor said.
Let me tell you about the pressbox today. The windows have been closed all week because the weather has been crappy. So every word bounces around there like it's a library. Sid Hartman stayed from the first pitch of game one to the last pitch of game two - and got louder as the evening went. During the seventh inning stretch of the second game, he started yelling at me that I was the, "Kiss of Death," and that the reason The Sports Show was canceled was because I joined and drove down the ratings. I don't know where Sid gets this stuff from. I really can't believe he lasted both games. The 96-year-old man is a tank.
(Editor's note: Sid is actually 97.)