CHICAGO — A couple of extras from the Twins’ fourth loss in five games:
— Chris Herrmann was nearing second base in the second inning when he noticed that right fielder Avisail Garcia hadn’t picked up the ball in the right-field corner. “I figured I could make it,” Herrmann said. “They had to make two throws to get me.”
They couldn’t. Herrmann seemed to slow as he neared third base, but he beat the tag from Conor Gillaspie and recorded his first career triple. It even drove in Trevor Plouffe for his first RBI of the season.
“I’ve had them before,” the catcher said, and he’s right: Herrmann actually has 18 career triples in the minor leagues, including six in 2011 at Fort Myers and New Britain.
— Blaine Boyer took the loss Saturday, but the bullpen actually pitched well. J.R. Graham hit 96 mph with his fastball, and struck out two hitters, Alexei Ramirez and Micah Johnson, on called third strikes in his one scoreless inning. Lefthander Aaron Thompson retired the top of Chicago’s lineup in order in the seventh, and stuck around to face left-handed Adam LaRoche leading off the eighth before Molitor called on Boyer to finish the inning.
LaRoche, incidentally, is now 10-for-15 in his career against Mike Pelfrey after smashing a second-inning home run. He’s also walked four times against Pelfrey. Who has given up the most hits to LaRoche in his career? Ricky Nolasco, with 16. They’ll likely see each other again later this year.
— Molitor compared Chris Sale, who will start Sunday for the White Sox, to Hall of Famer Randy Johnson in his pregame media session, and that got him reminiscing about his own at-bats against the 6-10 lefthander.
“I know when I was young, I was kind of prideful that I could hit his fastball,” said Molitor, who homered in his first at-bat against Johnson, but finished his career 8-for-40 (.200) with no other home runs again him. “As I got older, I thought, better start looking for the slider.”
Molitor recalled a game late in his career — July 15, 1995, nearly 20 years ago — when Johnson was at his peak. “I came up in the ninth, and I was the only guy who hadn’t struck out in our lineup,” he said. “I hit a weak grounder, and I felt pretty good about it.”