You know that feeling you have when you’re watching a horror movie and a character is completely oblivious to the killer lurking behind them? You yell at the screen, begging them to turn around, even though you know nothing you do can actually help. That’s how Cleveland fans must have felt watching Eddie Rosario loiter around second base in the sixth inning of Thursday night’s game against the Twins.
With the game tied 1–1, Rosario reached on a fielder's choice and bolted for second on a 3–2 pitch to Bobby Bradley. Bradley struck out but Rosario reached safely when Andrelton Simmons whiffed on the throw from the catcher. Rosario popped up and considered trying to advance to third but decided against it when Simmons hustled to corral the errant throw.
At that point, Rosario moseyed back to second but turned his head just as Jorge Polanco darted in, caught the throw from Simmons and applied the tag for a very unconventional strike-him-out-throw-him-out double play.
Rosario said after the game that he had turned his head to see what Bradley had done with the 3–2 pitch.
“I need more focus in the game,” he told reporters. “I tried to see what happened at home plate. … I want to make sure it won't happen again.”
But Rosario made up for his blunder with a clutch hit later in the game. After the Twins intentionally walked José Ramírez in the eighth, Rosario ripped a single up the middle that drove in two runs and gave Cleveland the lead.
He punctuated his big knock with a bat flip and a glare at the Minnesota dugout.
Rosario, who spent his first six MLB seasons with the Twins, got a warm welcome back in his first game at Target Field as a visitor. He said the staredown didn’t necessarily have anything to do with the Twins being in the other dugout.
“That's in the moment,” Rosario said. “I've done that a lot before for the other teams, not exactly for the Twins. I do that when I do a good job and at this moment, I'm very excited.”
Cleveland manager Terry Francona was pleased to see his left fielder atone for his mistake and referred to Rosario’s earlier blunder quite diplomatically.
“I was happy for him because that was certainly not what we were aiming for earlier,” Francona told reporters. “But he got a big hit and that's a good game to win, man. Sometimes winning's hard, but it doesn't mean you can't do it.”
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