MLB: Twins strand the Rangers
MINNEAPOLIS -- Of course Texas' Michael Young touched third base coach Dave Anderson on Sunday. "They made contact at third base and that's automatic," Minnesota Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "The umpire has got to make the call. If there is...
MINNEAPOLIS -- Of course Texas' Michael Young touched third base coach Dave Anderson on Sunday.
"They made contact at third base and that's automatic," Minnesota Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "The umpire has got to make the call. If there is contact, he's got to make a call, and they made contact. Unfortunate? Yes."
Then again, maybe they didn't touch.
"It never happened," Texas manager Ron Washington said.
Said Young: "Bad call. A bad call by a good umpire."
Two teams left Target Field on Sunday divided on what really happened on the final play of the game when third base coach Alfonso Marquez ruled that Young and Anderson came into contact with each other as Young rounded third base in the ninth inning on Vladimir Guerrero's infield hit. Young stopped and retreated to third, where he dived in safely.
But because it was determined that contact was made by a coach and his baserunner, Young was called out, the game was over, the Twins won 6-5 and closer Matt Capps escaped with a save after two runners, one inherited, scored on his watch.
Replays suggest that Anderson and Young might have inadvertently slapped hands right before Young stopped and turned back to third.
According to Rule 7.09 (h): It is interference when, in the judgment of the umpire, the base coach at 3b or 1b, by touching or holding the runner, physically assists him in returning to or leaving 3b or 1b."
That appears to be up to a crew's interpretation.
"The ruling on the play is that a base coach either touching, physically assisting in any way, with the baserunner is not allowed and the runner is called out," said the crew chief, St. Paul's own Tim Tschida.
Even if accidental? "If it's touching him, they can't make contact," he said.
This will make for good talk by the grill on Labor Day. Anything that got them off the field with a win on Sunday, the Twins were all for.
Twins first baseman Michael Cuddyer rejected any thought that the Twins benefitted from a fortunate break.
"If he touched him," Cuddyer said. "Then that's not luck."
But they are a little lucky to get through the week. They continue to play without Justin Morneau, who's been out because of a concussion since July 7. Jason Kubel missed four games when he was hit by a pitch on the left wrist. Reliever Brian Fuentes missed the entire week because of a sore back. Danny Valencia, who's looking like the answer at third base, left Friday's game because of a sore hamstring.
Then there was Thursday's 13-inning loss to the Tigers in which two starters had to relieve, potentially crippling the rotation.
Instead, the Twins put Matt Fox on the 40-man roster, handed him the ball on short rest and watched him go 5Xc innings in his debut to fuel a 4-3 win. Two wins later, they were shaking hands after the sweep as Rangers manager Ron Washington hobbled out to third base (he pulled a hammy during the old-timers game) to argue.
The Twins are now 4 ahead of Texas for home-field advantage in the first round of the postseason -- and a date with the AL wild-card winner, which is expected to come out of the AL East.
The only thing that didn't go right for the Twins was that the White Sox swept the Red Sox to remain 3 behind them in the AL Central.
They'll deal with Chicago later. For now, they proved -- again -- that they can handle adversity.
"You got guys here who know how to play the game of baseball," Cuddyer said. "You're going to be able to come through in situations and you are not going to be scared."
Who: Kansas City at Minnesota.
When: 1:10 p.m.
TV/radio: FSN (GF Channel 28); KNOX (1310 AM).
Starting pitchers: Kansas City, Sean O'Sullivan (2-4); Minnesota, Kevin Slowey (11-6).