BALTIMORE — A trio of tidbits from the Twins’ disappointing sweep in Baltimore:
— Phil Hughes had to do a little relationship repair after the fourth inning ended, stopping to talk to home plate umpire Marty Foster as he walked toward the dugout. Foster had taken off his mask and shouted at Hughes after the righthander made it clear he was unhappy with Foster’s call of a pitch to Manny Machado.
“He didn’t like my body language,” Hughes said of the incident. “After a leadoff double, [with] their best hitter up there, [I threw] a pitch I feel like was a strike three. It gets away and no intent towards [Foster], it was an emotional spot.”
Hughes got out of the inning without giving up a run by striking out Chris Davis, getting Mark Trumbo to pop to shallow left, and J.J. Hardy to hit into a force play. And then Hughes made sure the incident was behind them.
“We had a really short discussion after the inning. I let him know that I didn’t mean any disrespect,” the pitcher said. “It ended up being a turning-point inning. I was at least correct in showing my emotion, because it was a big spot.”
— Trevor May’s wild pitch, a misfire attributable at least in part to rainfall on the mound, wasn’t the only mistake the reliever made in the seventh inning. After allowing Trumbo to score and Hardy to move to second, May struck out Pedro Alvarez, and then got ahead of Jonathan Schoop 0-and-2 with a pair of fastballs.
May decided to throw another 94-mph heater, but leave it a little high to see if Schoop would chase it. Good idea. Bad execution.
“I was trying to elevate it, and I ended up throwing it right down the middle,” May said, shaking his head. Schoop grounded the ball into center field, and Hardy scored without a throw. “The game plan was to get strikeouts. My job is to pick up the starter and go out and execute the plan. The ugly wild pitch, then not making the pitch I needed — I did not do the job today.”
— Buxton had no chance to throw out Hardy on that play, Molitor said. But he manages to make the play on everything he can get to, the manager added.
Case in point: Schoop’s fifth-inning fly ball that kept carrying and carrying. “It stayed pretty level until it got halfway, and then it started rising a little bit,” Buxton said. “I thought I had a good chance of catching it.”
He was right. He reached the fence, hopped up and grabbed the ball before it could carry for a home run.
“That one carried out there pretty well,” Molitor said. “If it’s got a little height to it and it’s in the park, he’s going to have a chance.”
He almost had another one in the eighth, but Joey Rickard’s long fly ball barely carried beyond Buxton’s outstretched arm and into the Orioles bullpen. “Two or three feet, maybe,” Buxton said. “I thought I could get it.”