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Twins take issue with O's late bunt vs. shift

Single in ninth doesn't sit well with some Twins, but pitcher unfazed
April 1, 2018

BALTIMORE -- Right-hander Jose Berrios turned in the best outing of his young career with a three-hit shutout, and the offense provided the rest with four homers, including two from James Dozier, in a 7-0 win over the Orioles to clinch the series on Sunday afternoon at Camden Yards.A day

BALTIMORE -- Right-hander Jose Berrios turned in the best outing of his young career with a three-hit shutout, and the offense provided the rest with four homers, including two from James Dozier, in a 7-0 win over the Orioles to clinch the series on Sunday afternoon at Camden Yards.
A day after Kyle Gibson held Baltimore hitless for six innings, Berrios was nearly unstoppable. The only hit he gave up before the ninth inning came on a misplay from left fielder Eddie Rosario that was ruled a double for Chance Sisco, despite the ball hitting Rosario's glove. Berrios gave up a bunt single with one out in the ninth to Sisco -- which the Twins weren't thrilled with -- and loaded the bases but escaped the jam to come away with the first shutout in the Majors this season.
"Obviously, we're not a fan of it," second baseman Brian Dozier said of Sisco's bunt, which came with the Twins leading, 7-0, in the ninth. "He's a young kid. I could've said something at second base, but they have tremendous veteran leadership over there with Chris Davis, Adam Jones and those guys. I'm sure they'll address it and move forward. It's all about learning up here."

Dozier was one of a few Twins to take exception to the bunt from Baltimore's rookie catcher, but Berrios' dominance made it somewhat moot.
"Berrios is so good that he can do that all the time," said catcher Mitch Garver. "When he throws the ball wherever he wants it with whatever pitch he wants, that's how effective he can be."

Berrios was efficient, needing 107 pitches to record the shutout, striking out six and walking one. He recorded 11 swinging strikes with six on fastballs, three on curveballs -- including the game-ending strikeout of Adam Jones -- and two on changeups.
"I felt comfortable with my three pitches all game long," Berrios said through a translator. "I just kept attacking, attacking, attacking and it worked."

Berrios was staked to an early lead with the Twins scoring four times in the first against right-hander Kevin Gausman. Dozier set the tone with a homer on the first pitch of the game and Eduardo Escobar dropped in a bloop RBI double before a run-scoring wild pitch and an RBI single from Byron Buxton.

Minnesota added two more runs in the third, with Miguel Sano and Escobar both connecting on homers. It was the second in as many days for Sano and the first for Escobar. Dozier capped the scoring with a solo shot off reliever Pedro Araujo in the sixth, giving him his eighth career multi-homer game.
"We were able to get the ball in the air a lot and in this park, it doesn't make it easy, but it makes it easier to hit the ball over the fence," Dozier said. "But we're in the process of creating runs. Not just home runs."

Dozier sets the tone: Gausman's first pitch of the season was a 91.3-mph fastball on the inside part of the plate, but Dozier turned on it and hit it a projected 357 feet, per Statcast™, for his 28th career leadoff homer. Dozier is also tied with Jacque Jones for the Twins' all-time lead in first-pitch homers in his career with four.
"I felt good, but for whatever reason, it kind of wasn't there today," said Gausman. "I felt like I got better as the game went on, really with everything, but I will say early on I just didn't really feel as locked in as I have been in spring." More >

Sisco breaks it up: Berrios had no-hit stuff and wasn't helped by his defense when Rosario couldn't make the catch on a deep drive to left field. It was a makeable play -- it had a catch percentage of 90 percent, per Statcast™ -- and he had 5.6 seconds to cover 83 feet.
"It's kind of baseball's way, a guy takes a no-hitter there if that play were to be made, we all know that," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "Rosie did a nice job getting back there, it just deflected off his glove. It kind of took some of the drama out of what might have unfolded, but that's fine. I don't think Jose is going to be too disappointed with a shutout."
Twins starters combined to throw 21 scoreless innings against the Orioles. The last time the club had three starting pitchers throw at least six scoreless innings in consecutive starts was from June 10-13, 2014 (Kevin Correia, Phil Hughes, Gibson). Baltimore hitters went a combined 5-for-68 (.074 average) against Twins starters.
Rosario recorded a four-star catch in the first inning, racing 123 feet in 6.1 seconds, giving it a catch probability of 49 percent, per Statcast™. He reached 29.9 feet per second, which is considered elite.

Buxton outdid Rosario with a five-star catch in the eighth on a fly ball from Trey Mancini. Buxton needed to cover 92 feet in 4.8 seconds, giving it a catch percentage of 21 percent. Buxton, who was the fastest player in baseball last year, reached 30.9 feet per second.

Right-hander Lance Lynn is set to make his Twins debut on Monday against the Pirates at 12:05 p.m. CT at PNC Park, live on MLB.TV. Lynn was signed to a one-year deal during Spring Training and stayed in Florida to make a start on the Minor League side as prep for his first outing. It's the first game of a two-game set in Pittsburgh with an off-day on Tuesday.
Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.