By La Velle
Bobby Keppel has impressed in two outings, during which he’s tossed 6.1 scoreless innings.
He got help in the sixth inning on Tuesday by a great play by Brendan Harris, who dived to his left to grab Jose Guillen’s grounder then flipped to Nick Punto at second for the inning-ending double play. Keppel then threw a scoreless seventh.
“He definitely throws what you call a power sinker,” Twins righthander Scott Baker said.
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire likes what he sees.
“He’s throwing his sinker, lefties, righties, it doesn’t matter,” Gardenhire said. “He got in a couple jams but was able to get out of it.
“We’ve been looking for performances like that and, hopefully, we found something with this young man.”
Luis Ayala, whom Keppel replaced, was touted as a sinkerballer but his ground ball-to-fly ball numbers argued against that. He threw a sinker but it was junky and he frequently got under the pitch instead over the top – and it was spin to the plate, then spin out to the outfield.
By the way, the Twins are expected to release Ayala in a couple days. Twins GM Bill Smith tried to make a deal for Ayala but it hasn’t worked out. Pittsburgh was interested until the Pirates made deals with the Yankees and Nationals.
Joe Crede has a seven game hitting streak.
Joe Mauer snapped a 0-for-9 skid with single in the sixth.