SEATTLE – Jorge Alcala threw the fastest pitch of his career Saturday, a 101.2 mph fastball that was fouled in an at-bat against Seattle Mariners first baseman Ty France.

His reaction amounted to a shrug. He points out he's been throwing 100 mph for a few years. He won't even try to use it as bragging rights when chatting with closer Jhoan Duran.

"No, no, he's my brother, so I can't do that," Alcala said through a team interpreter. "I don't brag to anyone. I just focus on my job."

Alcala, who has battled arm injuries for the past three seasons, says staying healthy is the only real change for him. Since he was recalled from the minor leagues on May 24, he's permitted seven hits and two earned runs in 16⅔ innings (1.08 ERA) with 17 strikeouts, and he stranded two inherited runners.

"He's overcome some things, and this is what I think the ideal version of Jorge Alcala looks like," Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. "It's always been in there. This is a guy we've always believed in."

An area the Twins wanted Alcala to improve early in the season was his readiness as soon as he took the mound. There were some outings at the beginning of the season when he'd start throwing 93 mph fastballs and it took several pitches before he was back into the upper 90s.

"When you throw one inning most of the time, you have to come in ready to go," Baldelli said. "You have to come in throwing strikes. You have to come in with your best stuff and you have to go right at the hitters. He's doing a wonderful job of that right now. Earlier in the year, some of those things weren't taking place consistently, but we talked to him about it. We suggested things. We've discussed what we want him to do, and he's responded."

Mariners lose DH

The Mariners played the final seven innings Sunday without a designated hitter. Former Twins catcher Mitch Garver exited after he was hit by a 93-mph sinker from Joe Ryan on his right wrist in the second inning, so DH Cal Raleigh moved behind the plate.

Starting pitcher Luis Castillo came to hit in the fourth inning with a runner on second base. He watched three fastballs for a strikeout, then laughed as he walked back to the dugout. He was the first Seattle pitcher to bat in a home game since 2013.

"I'd probably tell my pitcher the exact same thing: go up there, stand back and maybe they walk you," Baldelli said. "If you have a guy that is really familiar with handling the bat, maybe laying a bunt down. That's probably it."

An X-ray showed no fracture for Garver.

Correa sits

Carlos Correa sat out Sunday, giving him virtually two off days when combined with the Twins' scheduled off day Monday.

"I think the games in Arizona, with him and a few other guys, they came off feeling different, feeling some things after being on the hard surface and the outfielders being on the turf," Baldelli said. "The field is a solid, good field. I don't think there is anything wrong with the ballpark, but it being an indoor stadium, there are some differences, and your body ends up feeling it."

Friendly fire

Cole Sands faced Raleigh, his college roommate, during fall baseball at Florida State many times, and they reunited for a few matchups during MLB's lockout in 2022.

The 10th inning Friday was the first time the two friends squared off in the big leagues. The at-bat turned into a walk-off winner when Raleigh hit a slow chopper to the right of the mound, scoring J.P. Crawford.

"He bought me breakfast [Saturday] morning," Sands said.


• With Saturday night's 5-1 victory over the Mariners, the Twins won their 5,000th game in team history, dating back to 1961.

Chris Paddack threw a bullpen session Sunday, his first time pitching off a mound since he went on the 15-day injured list last week. The righthander hopes to return in time to make a start before the All-Star break.

• The St. Paul Saints ended their road series against the Iowa Cubs with a 9-1 loss Sunday. Adam Plutko struck out six across five scoreless innings.