– What a dull Easter for Eddie Rosario. The Twins’ hottest hitter didn’t crack a home run, he didn’t throw anybody out on the bases, he didn’t reach over the wall to steal a homer. All he did on Sunday was … what was it again?

“I think I saved the game,” Rosario said.

Oh, right.

With two outs, two runners on base and the Twins leading 4-2 in the ninth inning, Jonathan Villar whistled a line drive deep toward the left field corner. Joey Rickard easily scored, and speedy pinch-runner Richie Martin appeared certain to as well.

But Rosario raced over, lunged for the ball and backhanded it before it could reach the wall, then spun and uncoiled a strong throw toward the infield, all in one motion. Third base coach Jose David Flores belatedly raised his arms to stop Martin, who slid to a stop on the grass and scrambled back to the base.

“Everybody in the game knows he’s trying to go to home plate. … I wanted to cut off the ball,” Rosario said. “I was running hard and I throw fast to the cutoff guy. I had a perfect throw.”

And a perfect finish — because Martin never moved off third. The Twins loaded the bases with an intentional walk, and Taylor Rogers ended the game by getting pinch-hitter Pedro Severino to fly out.

“That ball gets to the wall most of the time in this game, and he was determined to not let that happen,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said.


Max Kepler and Blake Parker felt better Sunday, but both sat out again after feeling ill. They are expected to return to action in Houston, Baldelli said.