Following Cal Quantrill’s last start against the Twins, which came last week, acting Twins manager Bill Evers made a suggestion for a Cleveland starter.
Evers said at the time, “He should be worried that he is getting us out and keep his mouth shut and things take care of themselves.”
Quantrill was apparently upset earlier in the game and expressed his displeasure after Josh Donaldson swung the pitch 3-0, which caught the attention of Miguel Sano.
There was no carryover drama at Target Field on Wednesday night, with Quantrill focusing all his attention on shutting down the Twins, which he did quite effectively for most of his start in the series finale’s 12-3 Cleveland win.
“He had all his pitches going. He has some pitchability, but he also has some really cool stuff,” said Twins manager Rocco Baldelli. “It’s a good mix and match of a lot of different things. His changeup is a good weapon for him. I think he has commanded all his pitches very well.”
Quantrill, who conceded just one run on four hits in 7 2/3 innings against the Twins (64-83) last Thursday, was almost untouchable in his first six innings on Wednesday, allowing just one baserunner in that period.
That one hit was a Sano double in the second inning. The next batsman to reach base would not come until the seventh inning, when Byron Buxton walked. The Twins kicked Quantrill out of the game in the seventh after Max Kepler’s run, allowing Sano a three-run blast and then going with Nick Gordon.
All three runs were unearned after a missed catch error off a foul ball by first baseman Bobby Bradley during Kepler’s plate appearance, which would have ended the innings. But although the Twins paid Quantrill for that error in the seventh, they could do nothing more against him. By the time the Twins broke, they were trailing by 10 runs.
Twins starter Griffin Jacques conceded five, although two were unearned.
An Oscar Mercado three-run home run in the fifth inning, which was part of a four-run innings, helped open the game. It came when Austin Hedges at 110 mph hit a liner towards Luis Aires in third place that he could not nab and a sano error.
“At the end of the day, it’s my job to get out there, and if I’m so dependent on the people behind me, I just need to put myself in a better place out there,” Jacques said. “If I’m missing more bats, if I do a little better, I can say that a lot of things could have been different.”
After Jacques departed, rookie Jovanni Moran conceded four runs in 1 2/3 innings and Andrew Albers conceded three in 2 2/3 innings as Cleveland made his way to a series win.
“We couldn’t do anything,” Baldelli said. “We dug ourselves a pit tonight and we didn’t swing the bat enough to get out of it.”