A handful of leftovers from a forgetting night at Minute Maid Park:
— Now the Twins know what opponents feel when Tommy Milone keeps them off-balance all night. Collin McHugh, whose fastball tops out around 88 mph, was brilliant on Friday, keeping the Twins in check for 7 2/3 innings, only allowing one baserunner — Joe Mauer, who was thrown out at the plate in the first inning — to reach third base all night. “His ball moves all over the place,” Mauer said. “When you change speeds, you don’t have to throw hard to get guys out. It’s pretty big differential between his curveball and his fastball.”
That curveball was especially impressive, Molitor said of the righthander, who followed up his 11-9 season last year for the last-place Astros with a 15-7 start to this season. “McHugh was good. A lot of poise. We didn’t touch his curveball all night,” Molitor said. “He had good command of his cutter. It was kind of bleak overall.”
— When Molitor reached home plate for the pregame exchange of lineups and review of the ground rules, he suddenly whirled and jogged back to the dugout. Turns out, he was about to turn over his own copy of the lineups, and not the copies that go to the umpires and Astros. Small mistake, but the manager looked a little sheepish as he went back out on the field with the correct lineups. They were all the same, Molitor said, he just grabbed the wrong ones.
— Mike Pelfrey isn’t tired, he said, and he isn’t hurt. He just can’t find consistently put it all together lately. The righthander sounded more mystified than frustrated after Friday’s loss, but he said his rising number of starts and innings — with 146 2/3 innings this season, he’s only six behind the 152 2/3 he produced in 2013 — aren’t to blame. “It’s weird. I thought my stuff was OK tonight,” Pelfrey said. “It was better than last time at home, but it still wasn’t good enough. I felt pretty good, but I put us in a big hole again.”
Pelfrey has allowed 14 runs in his last three starts, covering 12 1/3 innings. Home runs by Rasmus and Conger made Friday’s game the first time since his 2015 debut that Pelfrey had allowed two home runs, and his streak of seven straight games without allowing a homer, stretching for 42 2/3 innings, ended with Rasmus’ upper-deck shot to right in the second inning.