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Twins Insider

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

Hardly a shocker: Twins consider another round of pitching moves

    BOSTON — Weird night for the Twins: Byron Buxton, Brian Dozier and Eduardo Escobar had five errors between them this season. Then all three collected one on the same night. Dozier hadn’t committed an error since May 24, and it was April 22 for Escobar. And all three errors resulted in unearned runs scoring.

    The Twins had allowed three unearned runs in June — then gave up five tonight. But that’s not even their season-high: They surrendered seven unearned on May 6 — to the Red Sox, again. Strange.

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    Paul Molitor said the Twins have “tossed around some ideas” about how to fortify the bullpen with six games left on this road trip over the next five days. “But right now,” he said, “we’re kind of standing pat.” We’ll see if he, chief baseball office Derek Falvey and general manager Thad Levine — all of whom are here in Boston — stick with that intention tomorrow.

    Molitor said they had also discussed the possibility of bringing back Hector Santiago for Saturday’s doubleheader, since he threw only 50 pitches, but it doesn’t sound like that will happen. “Somebody still has to start Sunday,” Molitor pointed out, and they wouldn’t have the advantage of a 26th roster spot with only one game that day.

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    Another oddity about Wednesday’s game: Christian Vazquez stole a base. It might not seem like much, since it’s his third steal of the season. But the Twins hadn’t allowed a catcher to steal a base in almost four years, since Derek Norris, then of the A’s, swiped second on Sept. 20, 2013.

    Vazquez probably cared more about his second-inning home run, a mammoth blast to left-center, since it was his first since May 2015, or 255 at-bats ago. Molitor wasn’t happy about the pitch sequence that produced that home run.

    “The home run batter [had] a seven-consecutive-fastball at-bat,” Molitor said. “Someone’s eventually going to catch one. You’ve got to do a better job there.”

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    The Twins and Red Sox entered the game with a 307-307 record against each other in the 57 seasons since Minnesota joined the American League when the Senators moved to Bloomington.

After rain delay, Molitor will keep a close eye on Santiago vs. Red Sox

UPDATE: A severe storm cell moved over Fenway Park around 6:40 p.m. EDT, and the field was covered as a heavy rain began to fall. According to the Red Sox, tonight’s game is expected to be played — radar shows a period of clear skies behind the storm front — but the scheduled 7:10 p.m. start of the game will be delayed.

 

 BOSTON — You never know about a pitcher coming back from the disabled list, Paul Molitor was saying before Tuesday night’s game. Sometimes they’re rusty, sometimes they have trouble spotting their pitches where they want them. So you have to watch them carefully.

    But here’s Molitor’s problem tonight: Hector Santiago always pitches that way.

    “He’s tough in that regard. He can scatter it at times, and the next thing you know, you look up and he’s given up one run in five innings,” Molitor said of his left-handed starter, who returns tonight from a shoulder strain after missing three weeks. “He has a tendency to throw some misfires, but he makes a lot of good pitches to overcome that. I’ll be watching a little bit of the command early, and hopefully he’s got the velocity and is using that changeup.”

    Santiago, who pitched three shutout innings with two walks for Class AAA Rochester in a rehab start six days ago, is trying to turn his season around. He has lost five straight decisions, and has given up 10 home runs in his last six appearances, posting a 9.93 ERA in that stretch. It’s a real turnaround from his 4-1, 2.76 ERA start to the season, so the Twins are hoping a short break will pay off for him.

    Miguel Sano will serve as the designated hitter tonight, with Eduardo Escobar playing third base. The Red Sox will be without manager John Farrell, who was suspended for one game by MLB for a heated argument with umpires over a balk call during Saturday’s game.

    Here are the lineups for the second game of this four-game Fenway set:

TWINS

 

Dozier 2B

Escobar 3B

Mauer 1B

Sano DH

Kepler RF

Polanco SS

Rosario LF

Buxton CF

Castro C

 

Santiago LHP

 

RED SOX

 

Betts RF

Pedroia 2B

Bogaerts SS

Young DH

Bradley CF

Travis 1B

Benintendi LF

Vazquez C

Marrero 3B

 

Pomeranz LHP

Final, 6/27 R H E
Minnesota 39-36 2 8 3
Boston 43-34 9 10 1

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