Given that Addison Reed was so sick Tuesday that the Twins sent him home, and that Reed had just swept in to extricate his team from a bases-loaded, one-out crisis, Paul Molitor figured he had asked enough Wednesday of an offseason acquisition who is already emerging as his team’s go-to reliever.
“I don’t even think he liked the fact that we asked him” if he had had enough, the Twins manager said Wednesday. “He knew he was going back out.”
Reed did, and the results were equally superb. He gave up an infield hit, but he then got reigning AL MVP Jose Altuve to fly out and Carlos Correa and Josh Reddick to pop up.
“I wasn’t really thinking about using him for five outs,” Molitor said. “but it’s just kind of the way that inning unfolded.”
They seem to unfold that way a lot with Reed, who has appeared in six of the Twins’ 10 games, leads the bullpen in innings with eight, has given up only one run, and has prevented all five runners he has inherited from scoring. So when Zach Duke walked a couple of batters and hit another in the seventh inning? Reed was relishing the opportunity.
“It’s fun. I like coming into those situations. That’s when I have the most fun out there,” he said. “My slider felt really good. I left a couple up in the zone that they missed, but location was good for the most part, and I got out of it.”
That he was at the ballpark at all was a mild surprise, considering how he looked a day earlier. He said he felt ill Sunday night “and Monday got worse. After the game got checked out, and they told me I had strep. So that was great news,” Reed said sarcastically. He was sent home after taking a couple of bottles of fluid intravenously Tuesday, but “last night, pitching was the last thing on my mind.”
On Wednesday, though, “he came in this morning and you could just tell he had more energy,” Molitor said.
That’s one thing Reed would like to be known for, he said. “That’s what I pride myself on, being ready to go every day. I feel like I’ve prepared myself” for it, he said. “That’s something I’ve always tried to do, and it’s something I still can do.”
• The Twins have yet to announce a starting pitcher for Friday, and it’s become clear that weather is the reason. With the growing likelihood of a rainout, they could put off the need for a fifth starter until April 24, meaning there is no need to cut short Phil Hughes’ rehab assignment before then. The Twins will likely summon a potential starter — Hughes or perhaps Adalberto Mejia, who threw 24 pitches for Class AAA Rochester on Tuesday — just in case but might not activate that pitcher until it becomes clear that the game will be played.
• Given clearance to throw again, Ervin Santana didn’t wait long. The righthander, who had surgery to remove a calcium deposit in a right-hand knuckle on Feb. 6, played catch in Fort Myers, Fla., on Wednesday, the first step in a several-week process back to the majors.
• Houston strung together six consecutive hits in the fourth inning to begin a rally from a seven-run deficit, and Altuve contributed an RBI single to the mix. It marked Altuve’s 17th consecutive game at Target Field with a hit, breaking a tie with Kansas City’s Mike Moustakas for the longest by a visiting player in the ballpark’s history. Altuve is batting .440 (33-for-75) during the streak, which began on Aug. 3, 2013. Brian Dozier’s 21-game home hitting streak in 2016 is the record for any player.
• By giving up five runs over 4⅓ innings, Kyle Gibson had his worst outing since July — but the outcome was the same as usual. The Twins have won 11 games in a row that Gibson has started, the longest streak for the team and one of its starters since Johan Santana’s 12-game streak in 2006. Gibson is 7-0 in those 11 games, with a 3.09 ERA.