J.R. Graham was riding a stationary bike in the training room Friday when the Twins’ ninth-inning rally began. As the first few batters got on base, Graham headed toward the dugout to watch the rally.
Until he ran into fellow reliever Ryan Pressly in the clubhouse, that is. “Pressly was like, ‘Get back in there! You’ll mess it up!’ ” Graham said. “You can’t change anything — wherever you were, you stay there. Pressly got pretty mad. So I went back to the bike. I didn’t see the homer.”
Truthfully, neither did Brian Dozier, who hit it, capping the Twins’ seven-run, ninth-inning rally in an 8-6 victory over Detroit. The walk-off homer, his second of the week, was the lead story on ESPN’s “SportsCenter,” and it was replayed thousands of times on social media. But Dozier said he was asleep by 12:30 a.m., “just exhausted,” he said by a long day and a thrilling night. His phone was flooded with text messages, but Dozier said his climactic role in the highest-scoring ninth inning in Twins history was already behind him. “It’s a new day. Another game today,” Dozier said. “No time to stop.”
There was no stopping him as he circled the bases Friday, the first 90 feet of which was spent shouting at teammates on the bench. What was he saying? “I honestly don’t know. It was just a flood of emotions by that point, after all we’d done to get to that point,” Dozier said. “I just started yelling.”
Did the Twins still feel the thrill of that win a day later? “I think we do,” manager Paul Molitor said. “You can never guarantee that an incredible finish will influence the next game, but subconsciously, heading into today’s game and not [being] 0-2 in the series and not being 2-9 [on the season against Detroit], it kind of lightens the burden a little bit.”
May fine where he is
The Twins rotation probably won’t include Trevor May after the All-Star break, not at first. But Molitor said he’s not inclined to return the righthander to Class AAA Rochester, either.
“There is enough opinion here that we still want to find out what we have out there [in May] before we would think about maybe getting him back into the Triple-A rotation,” Molitor said. “If we needed a starter, he would probably be a guy who could fairly rapidly get into a starter role because of his youth and makeup. … I don’t think it would take [him] long to get back into that role.”
• Oswaldo Arcia has hit seven home runs in his past 11 games at Rochester, but Molitor said he’s not certain how soon the 24-year-old slugger will return to the majors, mostly because the Twins like their current outfielders. “I’m happy he’s doing well … [but] you think about where he would get an opportunity to play,” Molitor said. “Does he have enough value to be a bench player here? Possibly.”
• Outfielder Byron Buxton spends most of his time in the dugout during games squeezing a rubber ball with his injured left hand, strengthening the thumb. The Twins haven’t determined when he can resume swinging a bat, Buxton said, but he expects to begin shortly after the All-Star break.
• Class AA Chattanooga outfielder Max Kepler, who withdrew from Sunday’s Futures Game in Cincinnati due to a shoulder injury, was put on the seven-day disabled list. The injury is not considered serious.
• Lester Oliveros, a Class AAA righthander who has pitched in 27 games for the Twins since 2011, was placed on the disabled list by Rochester after experiencing shoulder pain. Oliveros, 3-2 with a 3.79 ERA this year for the Red Wings, will undergo a magnetic resonance imaging exam.
• Former Texas closer Neftali Feliz, a free agent whom the Twins had inquired about, signed with the Tigers and pitched the eighth inning Saturday.