Colon staying in Twins' rotation

July 25th, 2017

LOS ANGELES -- So much for Monday being 's final farewell.

The 20-year veteran pitched well enough against the Dodgers in the Twins' 6-4 loss at Dodger Stadium to keep his spot in the rotation. The 44-year-old right-hander allowed three runs on eight hits over five innings in a no-decision and will remain one of the club's five starters, as it was right-hander Kyle Gibson who was optioned to Triple-A Rochester following the acquisition of lefty from the Braves.

Colon, who will start Sunday in Oakland, also downplayed an ESPN report that said he was contemplating retiring, as he's aiming toward pitching next year to keep a promise to his mother, Adriana, who passed away in 2014.

"I don't put much thought into it," Colon said of the report through a translator. "It is what it is. But I did promise something to mom, and I do want to try to make that happen. Next year could be the year, but I have to make the promise come true for my mom. The promise I made before she passed away, I'm going to pitch until I'm 45."

Much like his Minnesota debut against the Yankees on Tuesday, Colon cruised early before running into trouble in the fifth. It started innocently enough, with a strikeout of , but then he served up back-to-back homers to and before tripled and eventually scored a go-ahead run on a two-out RBI single from Chris Taylor.

"I don't know if it necessarily came apart," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "They were making adjustments and got aggressive with first-pitch swings. They elevated a couple that got out of the park. He had a chance to get out of it until the base hit up the middle there. I thought he pitched well overall. It was kind of like his last one, and this time he went a little bit farther. So overall, it was a good night."

Colon, who threw 64 pitches with 44 going for strikes, was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the sixth, when the Twins rallied to tie the game. Colon's command was better than his last outing, as he didn't walk a batter and used his late-breaking two-seamer on both sides of the plate to keep hitters off balance. Colon threw only six offspeed pitches -- all changeups -- as part of his arsenal while his fastball ranged from 85-89 mph.

"I think once the fifth inning came, I ran out of gas," Colon said. "I didn't have a feel for anything. Hopefully my next start goes better. The whole year, it's been hard for me to get out of the fifth inning. But I felt better stronger than my last start."