BALTIMORE – Brian Dozier thought about approaching Chance Sisco at second base during a ninth-inning timeout Sunday but decided against it.
“I could’ve said something, but they have tremendous veteran leadership over there, with Chris Davis, Adam Jones and those guys,” the Twins’ de facto spokesman said. “I’m sure they’ll address it and move forward.”
What needs addressing? In the Twins’ opinion, it’s Sisco’s decision to bunt to the vacant left side of the infield with one out in the ninth, trailing 7-0. Jose Berrios was trying to complete his first career one-hitter and shutout, and there were some players in the visitors’ dugout who felt it inappropriate for the Baltimore catcher to lay down a bunt to end Berrios’ streak of 17 straight outs, rather than swing away.
“Obviously, we’re not a fan of it,” Dozier said.
Berrios, who followed up by walking Davis on a fastball that umpire Marty Foster ruled was low, and loading the bases on a broken-bat fly by Manny Machado that fell in, said he wasn’t bothered by the bunt. Sort of.
“I don’t care if he’s bunting,” Berrios said. “I just know it’s not good for baseball in that situation. That’s it.”
Sisco, a rookie catcher, defended the bunt to the Baltimore Sun, noting what followed: “[Berrios] was kind of going through the lineup. Just trying to do what I can to get on base,” he said. “They were playing the shift right there, so they kind of gave it to me. If they’re going to shift, I have to take it right there in that spot. We got bases loaded right after that. We’re a couple home runs away from tying the game.”
Twins manager Paul Molitor said he understood his players’ discontent, but he didn’t pass judgment on the play.
“Some of those unwritten rules of the game are not black and white,” he said tactfully. “He did what he thought was right.”
Tools of ignorance
Mitch Garver absorbed Machado’s long backswing with the side of his head, but that’s not what was making him see the ball move in all kinds of crazy directions Sunday. Berrios’ curveball and changeup really were moving that much, breaking bats along the way.
“I know there were two of [Jonathan] Schoop’s in one at-bat. That’s just telling of how good his stuff is,” said Garver, making his first start of the season. “He’s got balls moving every which way. … He can change the shape of his breaking ball, as well as his fastball. Super effective. It’s hard to hit off of.”
Machado found that out in the fourth inning, flailing at a curveball that broke under his bat. He made solid contact with Garver’s helmet, however, and the catcher was on his knees for about a minute while trainer Tony Leo checked on him.
“It was a loud sound. He caught the barrel,” Molitor said. “Thankfully, he caught mostly helmet, but it dazed him a little bit. He was clear, answered the questions, and gave us the thumbs up. We checked with him the next couple of innings as he came off the field, and he was good.”
Shouldn’t be a problem, Garver said: “I feel pretty good. My brain does not hurt. My skull does, however.”
• When the Baltimore chaplain who normally holds chapel services for players each weekend couldn’t make it to Camden Yards on Sunday, Kyle Gibson took action. “I didn’t want to not have one on Easter. So I was somewhat the organizer,” Gibson said. “I read a little bit [Saturday] night, and as I was thinking about the whole [Easter] story, had a few things pop in to share. Some other guys shared, too, and we were able to have a good service.”
• Twins starting pitchers put together a string of 12 consecutive hitless innings over the series’ three games, and they never gave up a run. The last time the Twins got three consecutive starts of six innings or more and didn’t allow a run was June 10-13, 2014, when Kevin Correia, Phil Hughes and Gibson managed the feat.