A handful of extras from a long and not-exactly-thrilling night of baseball:
— Mike Pelfrey’s rough night was the latest in a string of them for the Twins — and the latest in an up-and-down season for him. Saturday was the fifth time this season he didn’t last four innings, which is a lot to ask the offense to overcome, not to mention the bullpen. It’s not great timing for Pelfrey, either.
After reaching June 1 with a 2.77 ERA, there was some talk about whether the Twins had waited out Pelfrey’s comeback from Tommy John surgery and had found a new cornerstone for the rotation. Now he’s a month away from becoming a free agent, and it’s going to be interesting to see how much interest Pelfrey draws.
“I don’t worry about that stuff,” said Pelfrey, who signed a two-year, $11 million contract in December 2013. “I’m healthy. I told you in spring training, if I’m healthy, I’ll be OK.”
— As disappointing as Pelfrey’s night was, it could have been worse. Twice, Astro hitters blooped what looked like certain hits into shallow right-center, and both times Byron Buxton came streaking over to make running catches that few other outfielders could have made.
“He kept us in there early. Not a lot of guys can get to those balls,” Molitor said of the rookie outfielder, who went 0-for-3 at the plate. “He’s playing a good center field. He’s having a battle now offensively, but at least he’s not carrying it over on the defensive side.”
— One ball did drop in, a popup by Hank Conger in the sixth inning that fell about 10 feet behind a back-pedaling Brian Dozier. He looked around like he expected an outfielder to make the catch, but Molitor said the problem wasn’t placement, it was background. Nobody could see it in the twilight sky.
“It’s not a matter of whose is it, as who can see it,” Molitor said. “A couple minutes in either direction, it’s probably a routine play. It was a little too far for Dozier, and I don’t think Torii [Hunter] got a good look at it. Just lost in the twilight.”