WASHINGTON – After surrendering a walk-off homer in Sunday's 5-2 loss to the Cleveland Guardians, Twins closer Jhoan Duran said he didn't agree with the decision to throw a first-pitch curveball to Will Brennan.

Duran said afterward he wanted to throw a fastball.

"It's not my decision," Duran said Sunday. "I thought that he wasn't good with fastballs. I'm an employee here, so whatever I need to throw, I need to throw it."

The decision to throw a curveball stemmed from a mound visit with pitching coach Pete Maki and catcher Christian Vázquez before Duran faced Brennan. It was the second time Duran took the loss in the weekend series. He gave up a go-ahead homer Friday night on a curveball to José Ramírez.

"Pete leads him and all our pitchers to really good positions every day when they walk out there, and I think they all have great faith in everything that we do," manager Rocco Baldelli said Monday. "I think he's just frustrated and was looking for a way to vent. . . . I thought it was unusual. I wasn't expecting it. I like to handle our stuff here with a conversation in the clubhouse."

Duran said Sunday that he did not try to shake off the curveball pitch selection following the mound visit.

"If players feel really strongly about something, they can go ahead and shake off," Baldelli said. "When that subject is brought up on the mound, you can say it before the pitch is thrown and not after the pitch is thrown. I think that would've been more productive to say something in that manner, not just in this instance but in any instance."

Brennan was batting .179 with one homer against four-seam fastballs this season, according to Statcast. Before the at-bat against Duran, he was 2-for-12 vs. curveballs with two singles.

"We do a good job of game-planning," Baldelli said. "We know — no matter how you cut it up — what guys are good at, what guys are less likely to be able to do at the plate. We know these things pretty well. I trust Pete, I trust our staff and I trust our catchers as well to know these hitters really, really good."

Baldelli called Duran "selfless" for his willingness to pitch in any situation, but he said he thinks the postgame comments were a result of the six-game losing streak.

"We stayed on the curveball," Vázquez said Monday. "He's a very aggressive hitter. Sometimes we pick the wrong pitch, but we need to flush it. ... It's part of the game. We lost. That's the point. I don't want to dig on that. It's something that happened, and we learn from it."

Top prospects return

Two of the Twins' top prospects, Brooks Lee and Walker Jenkins, returned to the field Monday after missing the past six weeks with injuries.

Both players began rehabilitation assignments Monday in the rookie-level Florida Complex League. Lee played five innings at shortstop and was hitless in four at-bats in Fort Myers. Jenkins was 0-for-4 with a walk and a run as the designated hitter.

Lee, 23, was sidelined with a herniated disc in his back after he experienced back spasms during a spring training game. The switch hitter is expected to join Class AAA St. Paul once he ramps up from his rehab assignment.

Jenkins strained his left hamstring in Class A Fort Myers' first game of the season. Baseball America lists the 19-year-old Jenkins as its No. 13 prospect, and Lee is ranked No. 46.


• The Twins moved up the start time of Friday's home game against the Texas Rangers, which is also Star Wars Night, to 6:10 p.m. because the Timberwolves will tip off against the Dallas Mavericks in Game 2 of the Western Conference finals at 7:30 p.m. at Target Center. The Target Field gates will open at 4:30 p.m.