Here are three thoughts following the Twins' 4-3 win over Baltimore
COTTS TRADE: The Twins on Friday made a move to bolster their bullpen by trading with Milwaukee for veteran lefthander Neal Cotts. The Twins will send the Brewers a player to be named later or cash.
Cotts, 35, is 1-0 with a 3.28 ERA in 50 games with the Brewers. In 491/3 innings, Cotts has given up 18 earned runs on 44 hits and 17 walks with 48 strikeouts. Lefthanded hitters are batting .185 against him while righthanded hitters are batting .284. He's given up 18 home runs, including two over his last three appearances. Looks like he throws a fastball (89.9 avg), slider and cutter. The move is an upgrade for the back of the bullpen. It will be interesting to see who goes when Blaine Boyer is ready to come off of the disabled list. Even with 13 pitchers, having three lefty relievers (not including Glen Perkins) seems superfluous.If anything, Cotts is an experienced arm who won a World Series with the White Sox in 2005.
HUNTER AND PLOUFFE: Good call by Trevor Plouffe to advance to third on Eddie Rosario's sacrifice fly in the eighth. And good call by Hunter to take second when Gerardo Parra's throw went to third. Still not sure why Parra would make that throw and risk putting the lead run on second. If he keeps Hunter on third, he doesn't score on Kurt Suzuki's bloop single.
MILONE MASTERY UNTIL SIXTH. Milone was in a zone early on. He had retired 13 straight batters at one point and had thrown first-pitch strikes to 10 consecutive hitters. That's dictating the action. But the wheels fell off quickly in the sixth. Nolan Reimold singled to left on a 1-0 pitch to lead off the inning - just the Orioles second hit of the game to that point. Milone opened with a fastball to Manny Machado, who dumped it into right for single. Reimold moved to third. Milone then threw a first-pitch curveball to Parra. Suzuki set his glove at the knees but began to lift his glove because the pitch was up in the strike zone as it came to the plate. Parra didn't miss it, hitting a no-doubter to right for a 3-1 Orioles lead. Three pitches. Three hits. Altered evening for Milone and the Twins. He gave up three runs over 5.1 innings. It's not a quality start. But for all but three batters, it was pretty darn good.