CHICAGO — A couple of extras from the series finale at whatever they’re calling New Comiskey Park these days:
— Ervin Santana admits he was a little surprised when Paul Molitor approached him after the sixth inning and told him they were going to have Taylor Rogers pitch the seventh. “I wanted to go back and pitch,” Santana said, “but he told me it was good enough for today.”
Molitor said he made the decision based on the long season still ahead, figuring saving pitches now will pay off later. Santana had thrown 87, and it sounds like the manager doesn’t intend for his 34-year-old ace to ever eclipse 100 pitches in a game. He could have faced a few more batters, Molitor said, but he didn’t want to risk Santana suddenly getting into trouble, particularly with only a 2-0 lead.
“Rather than having him start the inning and maybe having something [a rally] created, we went with the clean innings,” Molitor said. “He was open to going back out, but I don’t think he liked the idea of coming out if he got in trouble. When it’s your game … “
Ever arrive at your hotel but discover that your room isn’t ready? That’s sort of what happened to the Twins on this road trip.
Rather than depart immediately after Sunday’s game, as they normally would, the Twins chose to remain in Chicago overnight. They’ll depart for Detroit on Monday, a scheduled off day.
The reason? The Tigers, in an unusual bit of scheduling, conclude a four-game series at Comerica Park with Boston on Monday afternoon — and the Red Sox currently occupy the same hotel rooms the Twins will stay in. With the Washington Wizards also checking into the same suburban luxury hotel for their Monday game with the Pistons, the hotel couldn’t make enough rooms available to the Twins for a Sunday check-in.
The extra night in Chicago gives the Twins a little time to savor their first-week accomplishments, and not just the 5-1 overall record. It’s April 9, and they’re 2-1 on the road.
Know how long it took to win two road games last season? Victory No. 2 came in Houston, in road game No. 12.
On May 2.