CHICAGO — Some final notes over the Twins’ first loss of the season:
Adalberto Mejia glanced over his shoulder at home plate umpire Carlos Torres as he left the field in the second inning Saturday. Torres’ strike zone, the lefthander said, was “a little bit tight.”
But the rookie pitcher was quick to add that he was more angry with himself for not throwing strikes. “It’s my job to throw the ball over and his job to call the strikes,” Mejia said. “I wasn’t mad [at Torres]. Obviously I wanted to do my job, [and] I was kind of frustrated, but not really mad.”
Put the umpire out of your head, manager Paul Molitor advised.
“I think that’s part of the maturity process. He’s got pretty good demeanor on the mound overall,” the manager said. “There were some close pitches early. He had a four-pitch walk early where we thought some of them might have been strikes. But you’re not always going to get the call, so you’ve got to rise above that.”
It’s not just the Twins outfielders who have made some great defensive plays this week. Brian Dozier had a highlight on Saturday.
With Avisail Garcia on first base in the fourth inning, Geovany Soto smashed a grounder up the middle. Dozier had to dive to reach it, and just managed to glove it. He turned and made a glove-hand flip to Jorge Polanco, who had plenty of time to step on second and throw out Soto for the double play.
“We got a nice hop off the mound, which gave him a chance. It kind of skipped a little bit,” Molitor said. “Any time you can react like that and get full extension, with the glove flip, it was a pretty double play.”
Justin Haley pitched well for 3 2/3 innings, but the last three batters he faced all scored. Todd Frazier singled, and Garcia and Soto both homered to end the rookie’s day. Michael Tonkin made his 2017 debut, and got eight outs without allowing a run.
One other Twins pitcher had a good day Saturday, too. Jose Berrios allowed three hits over six scoreless innings, striking out seven to pick up the win for Class AAA Rochester over Syracuse, 10-0.