Logan Forsythe reportedly was included in the Brian Dozier trade last month mostly for financial reasons. Now he’s giving the Twins their money’s worth.
The second baseman, sent to Minnesota by the Dodgers to avoid increasing Los Angeles’ payroll, delivered a pair of clutch singles on Wednesday, one that tied the score and the next that put the Twins in front. His contributions, along with another impressive day by the Twins’ bullpen and a two-RBI effort by Bobby Wilson, helped the Twins finish off a two-game sweep of the Pirates with a 6-4 victory at Target Field.
“He just has a calmness about situational hitting. He knows how to execute, he knows how to put the ball in play for a chance to get guys in from third. He hits the ball up the middle really well,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said about Forsythe, batting .386 as a Twin, with a .449 on-base percentage and six RBI.
“And he’s played good defense, especially the double plays.”
It makes a manager wonder, actually, how things could get so far off track in Los Angeles. Forsythe was batting just .207, and was increasingly being used as a late-inning defensive replacement, when the Dodgers packaged him with young prospects Luke Raley and Devin Smeltzer in exchange for Dozier.
“He’s got a plan up there. You can tell he sees the ball a long time because of the way he lets that fastball get deep,” Molitor said.
“I don’t know if there was some kind of disconnect [in Los Angeles]. Maybe when you’re hearing for a long time that they’re looking to do something different, it might take its toll over time.”
For Forsythe, the answer is more simple: Playing time. He started eight games for the Dodgers in July but is up to a dozen starts in just two weeks in Minnesota.
“It’s about consistency. These guys throwing me out there every day and letting me play my game is luckily paying off [with] some hits and playing some good ball,” Forsythe said. “It’s nice to get back out there and get in that routine. Even better that I’m getting some results.”
He got a good result Wednesday off another trade-deadline chess piece, Pirates starter Chris Archer, a former teammate, along with Wilson, in Tampa Bay. With Miguel Sano on second base in the second inning, Forsythe fouled off a trio of 96-mph fastballs, worked the count to 2-2, and then connected on a 97-mph pitch for an RBI single to right.
A couple of innings later, he provided the critical hit in the Twins’ three-run rally off Archer and reliever Edgar Santana by grounding a single to center, scoring Jorge Polanco and Max Kepler and putting the Twins in front for good.
It was Forsythe’s first three-RBI game of the season, and only his second in two years.
And if that wasn’t frustrating enough for the Pirates, Wilson victimized them, too, with an unusually productive day at the plate.
Wilson drove in Forsythe in the second inning by reaching for a slider and hitting a bloop single that fell into short right field.
“Crushed it. Crushed. It,” Wilson joked. “As Josh Bell told me at first base, it’s all about placement. Doesn’t matter how hard you hit it.”
He hit one much harder in the seventh, however, when he led off the inning by blasting a pitch from Keone Kela off the railing of the upper deck, his second homer of the season.
“It was nice to finally get a ball elevated a little bit. It’s been a while since I hit a ball like that,” said Wilson, whose last two-hit-and-a-homer day came in 2016. “When it hits the barrel, you don’t really feel it, so you know you hit it pretty well.”