Some leftovers from a game that got away from the Twins:
— The Twins know their defensive shifting will cost them sometimes, will prevent them from making plays they otherwise would. That doesn’t make those times any easier, though. “They kind of beat our defense multiple times with tendencies we were trying to play against,” manager Paul Molitor said. “We got foiled, I don’t know how many times.”
Well, Geovany Soto’s RBI single in the fourth inning was hit to the right side, where only Joe Mauer stood due to a pull-hitting shift. Jose Abreu had four hits, three of them to the right side, where the Twins weren’t playing him. And Melky Cabrera’s game winning hit came with the shortstop playing in deep short, when the ball went up the middle.
“It seems like balls were going where we weren’t playing,” Molitor said.
— Weird defensive night for Torii Hunter. He came racing in from deep right in the first inning to snag Avisail Garcia’s sinking liner, saving an extra-base hit. But in the ninth, Hunter tracked an Adam LaRoche single into the corner, then made an ill-advised jump throw, unleashing the ball as he twisted in the air. The ball sailed into left-center field, not the infield, allowing LaRoche to advance to third and Jose Abreu to score from first base. Two runs scored that inning, all but eliminating the Twins’ chances of pulling off a ninth-inning rally.
— I asked Paul Molitor if he might have been less likely to leave Mike Pelfrey in the game with runners on base and left-hander Adam LaRoche — who was 11-for-18 lifetime against Pelfrey — had Aaron Thompson been pitching better lately. He said no, Pelfrey was still pitching well and he trusted him.
Molitor gave Thompson a vote of confidence before the game, saying “I don’t see a huge change from what he was doing when he was rolling. I could see results changing for him really quickly.”
Didn’t happen Tuesday, though. Thompson faced three batters in the ninth, Abreu, LaRoche and Melky Cabrera, and gave up singles to the first two. Both scored, partly because of Hunter’s odd throwing error, adding another .26 to Thompson’s ERA, which now stands at 5.40.