Rosario toes a 'fine line' on the bases, to the Twins' benefit vs. Orioles

Star Tribune |

--BALTIMORE – He hit three home runs, helped throw a runner out at the plate and robbed another homer. But if there was a signature Eddie Rosario moment in Saturday’s doubleheader, it might not have been any one of those.

In the third inning of Game 1, Rosario slapped a two-out line drive between Baltimore’s right and center fielders, a routine single for most players. But not for the Twins’ most aggressive baserunner. As Cedric Mullins and Trey Mancini converged on the ball, Rosario decided to take a calculated risk: Turn that single into a double.

“We just preach good, solid aggressiveness,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. “And making good decisions.”

Rosario’s specialty is catching defenses off guard, and it appeared that was the case again. Mullins picked up the ball and rushed a throw to second base, where it sailed wide of the bag while Rosario slid headfirst into the base.

“There’s always a fine line there. You always want the best of both worlds -- you want them to take all the extra bases, and you want them to be safe every time. It doesn’t always work like that, and we know that. But we trust our players to make decisions, and as a whole, it’s been good.”

Where’s the rain?

The heavy rain in the forecast for Friday evening never materialized, and the teams could have played.

But Baldelli said he had no problem with the decision, announced amid an afternoon downpour around , to postpone the game by a day, even though it meant playing two games Saturday.

“At some point, you have to make a call,” he said. “It probably would have been easier on a lot of our players if we were able to play, but we weren’t. And our guys, they’ll figure it out and take care of business.”

Relievers on the mend

A pair of Twins relievers reached milestones Friday in their quest to return from injury.

Gabriel Moya faced hitters for the first time since his lone spring training appearance on , pitching one inning in Biloxi, Miss., for Class AA Pensacola. Moya, bothered by stiffness in his left shoulder, allowed two hits but struck out the final two hitters he faced, stranding two runners in scoring position.

Matt Magill, meanwhile, pitched in back-to-back games for the first time since beginning his rehab stint last week with Class AAA Rochester. Magill retired all three Lehigh Valley hitters he faced, striking out one. The righthander, also bothered by shoulder stiffness, has not allowed a run in three innings with the Red Wings.

Etc.

Jonathan Schoop was greeted with a warm ovation as he came to the plate in the second inning, and he responded by tipping his cap to Orioles fans. Schoop, who broke into the majors with Baltimore in 2013, was also the subject of a tribute video that played on the scoreboard just before the inning started.

• Outfielder Max Kepler was not in the starting lineup for either game Saturday, and relief pitcher Blake Parker was not used in a save situation in Game 1. Both players are battling illness, Baldelli said, though both might have been available if needed.

___

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