It’s safe to read these three extra notes from Monday’s ugly Twins loss. I promise I won’t mention the bullpen:
It was a typical high-energy, eventful day for Eddie Rosario, who made a spectacular diving catch in left field, but also committed an error that cost the Twins a run, and failed to catch an entirely catchable bloop fly ball that let two more runs in.
Rosario couldn’t reach a pop fly behind shortstop by Carlos Beltran in the fourth inning, but he made matters much worse when he decided Beltran had rounded first base too far. He picked up the ball and threw it high over Joe Mauer’s head at first base, sailing it into the camera well. Beltran was awarded third base on the two-base error, and when Ervin Santana threw a slider that bounced past catcher Chris Gimenez, Beltran scored an unearned run on the wild pitch.
Rosario seemed to redeem himself in the sixth inning, hustling deep into left-center and diving to snag a line drive by Josh Reddick. That play had an unfortunate side, too, though, since Byron Buxton caught his right hand on Rosario’s spikes as he sailed by, and he had to leave the game in the bottom of the inning.
And in the eighth inning, with the tying and go-ahead runs on base, Rosario came in quickly to chase down Reddick’s bloop fly ball, slid on his knees, and let the ball glance off his glove. The double gave Houston the lead for good.
At the plate, Rosario was 1-for-4, but was doubled off first base on a Gimenez line drive.
Joe Mauer collected two hits on Monday, keeping a particularly impressive stretch of hitting alive: He now has at least one hit in 18 of the 19 games he’s started in May.
Mauer singled in the fourth and fifth innings, the latter one driving home a run. That ended a stretch of 12 plate appearances in which the veteran first baseman reached base 10 times, on four singles, two doubles, a home run and three walks. Mauer has raised his batting average to .287 — it was .225 entering May — and his on-base percentage to .364, up from .270 to start the month.
Jorge Polanco had a couple of notable at-bats on Monday, as he continues to make a positive all-around impression. In the fifth inning, the second-year shortstop fouled off five pitches from Houston starter Brad Peacock before seeing one he liked, and on the seventh pitch of the at-bat, he ripped an 81-mph slider to the wall in right-center. It was a triple, his first of the season, and drove in a run. He also scored moments later on a passed ball.
An inning later, Polanco led off the sixth inning by taking two fastballs from reliever Jordan Jankowski, both for strikes. Then Jankowski tried a slider, too, and Polanco smacked the 0-2 pitch into right field for a single.
Impressed with your teammate’s approach at the plate, Miguel Sano? “Yeah,” Polanco’s fellow Dominican said with a smile. “I teach him.”