Righthander Tyler Duffey sabotaged his night by botching a throw that could have started a double play, then laying pitches over the plate to Lonnie Chisenhall and Mike Napoli.
Napoli’s homer was the difference in the Twins’ 5-4 loss to Cleveland on Friday at Target Field.
Duffey (8-11) gave up five runs (two earned) on seven hits, with a one walk with six strikeouts.
“He tried to use all his pitches,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said. “His changeup was little inconsistent. He used the fastball quite a bit. The curveball at times was good for him.”
Joe Mauer homered in the first inning and Byron Buxton scored from first on Brian Dozier’s double in the second. But Duffey gave it all back, and then some, in the third.
Duffey nicked Jason Kipnis with a pitch, then Francisco Lindor reached when Duffey fielded his comebacker but threw wildly to second while trying to start a double play.
“If I turn that double play, it’s a different ballgame,” said Duffey, who made his first start since being recalled from the minors.
Two batters later, Jose Ramirez’s infield hit off Duffey’s foot loaded the bases.
Duffey laid a fastball over the plate to Chisenhall, who smoked it to the wall in left-center as two runs scored. The final two runs of the inning scored on a grounder by Abraham Almonte and a single by Tyler Naquin, and Cleveland led 4-2.
Duffey pitched a 1-2-3 fourth inning after that, and Buxton’s two-run homer later in the inning tied the score. In eight games since his recall, Buxton has five home runs and 12 RBI.
The lead lasted a few minutes, as Napoli hit Duffey’s first pitch of the fifth inning into the third deck in left field. The estimated distance of 456 feet made it the third-longest home run hit at Target Field this season. It came on a get-me-over curveball, one thrown with the intent to get ahead in the count.
“I should have thrown a chase breaking ball instead of one for a strike,” Duffey said. “He obviously was sitting on it. ”
Two teams for Jacob
The plan was for the Twins to honor Jacob Wetterling by wearing red jerseys on Friday that included a No. 11 patch, which was Wetterling’s number when he played sports.
But the Indians found out about the tribute and decided on Thursday to wear patches, too.
So both teams lined up on the first and third base lines before the game as 11 traits, developed by the family and the Jacob Wetterling Resource Center, were read.
A graphic of Wetterling’s No. 11 was unveiled on the wall next to the bullpens and will remain there the rest of the season.
“There’s a lot of fathers in this room, and it’s pretty hard with the guys who have kids,” Mauer said. “I know I have two girls and I can’t imagine the pain that family is going through and the families of missing kids. I know it hits pretty hard in this room. So we’re just trying to show our support.”
The jerseys that the Twins wore on Friday will be auctioned off online, with proceeds going to the Jacob Wetterling Resource Center.
Loaded pitching staff
Twins manager Paul Molitor now controls an 18-man pitching staff and a 13-man bullpen.
Lefthander Tommy Milone and righthander Trevor May were reinstated from the disabled list on Friday and added to the bullpen. A 13-man bullpen sounds like a lot, but teams are adding relievers left and right this month. The Giants, for instance, have a 14-man bullpen.
“If we run into having to pitch [Eduardo] Escobar right now we are in big trouble,” Molitor said.
Escobar, an infielder, had to pitch an inning on Aug. 11 vs. Houston when the bullpen was depleted.