BOSTON – When the Twins announced that Randy Dobnak was going to start Tuesday’s series opener against the Red Sox, they didn’t offer any hint as to how long they intended to keep him on the mound.
As it turned out, it was only for one scoreless inning. Dobnak’s day was done after throwing 19 pitches, 11 for strikes, with two strikeouts and a walk in the first inning.
He was followed by fellow rookie Lewis Thorpe, who gave up a leadoff double in the second inning, then followed by retiring the next nine batters. When he took to the mound in the fifth inning, the Twins were ahead 6-0. He was pulled after giving up a hit and two walks in the inning, and all three runners eventually came around to score, but Thorpe was credited with his second career victory as the Twins held on to win 6-5.
“They pitched well and they put us in position to win,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said of both Dobnak and Thorpe. “We talked about this being a different kind of environment, and a challenging place to come in — it’s just a different feel. They came in and executed and did a great job. Both of them. You can’t compliment them enough. They pitched great. We knew we were going to need several big efforts out of our bullpen. We didn’t know which direction the game was going to go, but they put us in a spot to win.”
Thorpe was only able to pitch for the Twins because they placed Kyle Gibson on the 10-day injured list Sunday, meaning the Australian lefthander — who was sent to the minors on Aug. 26 — didn’t have to wait 10 days before being eligible to return.
As for his performance, which included four strikeouts, Thorpe said it helped his confidence “a lot. Just to be able to throw strikes and control things, it’s just huge.”
For his efforts, Thorpe earned his second career victory. His first came against another AL East power, as he beat the Yankees on July 22.