A couple of extras from a come-from-behind victory for the Twins:
Trevor Plouffe enjoyed his first two-homer game since 2012, but it’s a good thing he hit them. He was annoyed at himself for striking out with the bases loaded in the first inning.
“I just wanted to come through. I was upset after that first at-bat,” Plouffe said. “I was able to get a few balls out of the park. In that situation, I’ll take those RBIs any way, not just on homers.” Both of Plouffe’s homers broke a tie, 0-0 in the fourth and 2-2 in the eighth.
“I kind of got a little assist from Mother Nature,” Plouffe said of his first home run, perhaps a little wind-aided. “But I’ll never turn any of those down. We’re trying to win here.”
Ervin Santana didn’t have the command of his pitches Friday that he had displayed during his two previous starts, but he made it work. He walked only two batters all night, and helped by Torii Hunter’s two outfield assists, limited the White Sox to just two runs in seven innings, both of them on an Adam Eaton home run to straightaway center field.
Santana might have gone eight innings for a second straight start, manager Paul Molitor said, or at least that was the tentative plan when he went to the mound in the seventh, having thrown just 88 pitches. But that lack of command caught up to him. “When he went 2-0, 3-0, 2-0 on the first three guys, it gets your attention,” Molitor said, though the manager chose to let him get through that inning. “But he made a lot of good pitches.”
He made enough of them to get a roll out and two strikeouts, making the walk he allowed to Mike Olt harmless.
The only mistake Santana made, actually, was the fifth-inning slider that Adam Eaton smashed over the center field fence — and even that, Santana said, “was a good pitch. He hit a pretty good pitch.”
And it’s a great sign for the Twins, who were counting on Santana to make important starts down the stretch, an expectation that was shaken by a terrible August. Santana has now lasted at least seven innings in three straight starts, and given up a total of three runs in them, a 1.23 ERA in that stretch. And Molitor noted that his half-season suspension might be helping. “We feel like he’s still fresh,” the manager said, “just because of how his season has transpired.”
Santana said his innings count doesn’t matter to him. “I’m just trying to get one out at a time, one pitch at a time,” he said. “It works.”