Apparently the Twins’ run of injuries isn’t over yet.
On a night when C.J. Cron and Eddie Rosario returned from the injured list, Jonathan Schoop felt something pull in his rib cage during his ninth-inning at-bat. He came out of the game — reluctantly, he said — and insisted that he’ll be fine tomorrow. But the Twins have made it clear all season that they take no chances with their players’ health.
“Schoopy thought he was fine. He did feel something, though,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. “Not being sure what it is, and knowing that if you have an issue with an oblique, it’s going to be a while, we don’t want to let anything get to that point. If we can avoid it by getting a guy out of there before he swings again, then we’re going to do it.”
Schoop said he tried to talk the manager out of taking him out, but Baldelli insisted. “I feel good now, but you never know,” he said. “I’m going to check it out tomorrow morning and make sure everything is OK.”
The bases were loaded and Nelson Cruz was facing his old Mariners teammate, Edwin Diaz, in the ninth inning. Diaz blew an inside fastball past Cruz’s swing on the first pitch, then tried another one up and in. But it got away.
“It was pretty close” to hitting him on the hands, Cruz said of the pitch. The ball popped out of catcher Wilson Ramos’ glove and bounced about 30 feet away. As Ramos gave chase, Cruz waved at Luis Arraez to run home.
“I mean, I always wave people to go home,” Cruz said with a laugh afterwards. “That’s typical.”
It startled Arraez, though. He took a step or two down the line, but held his ground.
“Yeah, he thinks I’m really fast like that, but the ball stayed really close,” Arraez said, shaking his head. “We were trusting that he was going to come through there. But it’s just part of the game.”
In addition to an error, a home run and a busy night fielding ground balls — eight in all — and an injury, Schoop also was thrown out in one of the night’s most puzzling plays. With Cron on third base and two outs, Schoop was on first base as Jason Castro hit. Suddenly, on a 1-2 pitch, Schoop took off for second base. The pitch was inside and Castro let it go by. Ramos jumped up and threw to second base, where Schoop stopped short of the bag, clearly surprised by the play. He was tagged out to end the inning.
“We had a play on,” Baldelli said. “We just didn’t execute that play. We could have certainly executed that play better.”
He didn’t elaborate, but it appears logical that Castro was supposed to swing at the pitch, a hit-and-run that never happened.
Speaking off odd ends to an inning, the Twins had another one two innings later, and again, Schoop was involved. This time, he hit a two-out ground ball to Amed Rosario at shortstop, who flipped it to Robinson Cano at second base for the force play on Miguel Sano. One problem: Cano dropped the ball.
Umpire Mike Muchlinski quickly ruled that Cano had caught the ball and simply dropped it as he tried to take it out of his glove, but replays were hardly definitive on that. But the Twins chose not to challenge the play.