DETROIT — Ryan Pressly looked uncomfortable on the mound Wednesday night, at one point shaking his arm, and another time rotating his hips.
Trainer Tony Leo and manager Paul Molitor went out to check on him, but Pressly said the problem wasn’t his arm, and wasn’t a big deal.
“He said he was cramping in the back a little bit, so he was trying to stretch it out,” Molitor said after the game. “But it was nothing.”
Pressly, second in the American League in appearances with 35, retired all three hitters he faced, extrending his streak of scoreless outings against the Tigers to 10 straight, totaling 9 2/3 innings.
Jose Berrios threw 98 pitches on Wednesday, his lowest pitch count since being knocked out after just 5 1/3 innings in Anaheim on May 10. But Molitor said he wasn’t tempted to allow Berrios to go back out for the seventh inning on Wednesday, not after he pitched out of significant trouble in the third, fifth and sixth innings.
The Tigers put runners on second and third with one out in the third, but Berrios struck out Nick Castellanos and Jaime Candelario to end that threat. He loaded the bases with two outs in the fifth, but retired Victor Martinez on a grounder to first base to wiggle out of that. And a leadoff single and a ground-rule double put the go-ahead runs in scoring position to open the sixth, but he got two quick strikeouts against Grayson Greiner and Jose Iglesias, then got Victor Reyes to fly out.
“He knows that it’s the next pitch [that’s important] a lot better than he used to, and that you can’t change circumstances once they happen,” Molitor said. “To get out of those jams, especially that second-and-third, [was] just trying to make the next pitch as best he can.”
Still, Molitor said, 98 pitches and six innings were plenty from the 24-year-old, even with the Twins holding only a 2-1 lead.
“We know he’s got the stuff to be able to get out of trouble from time to time. But it’s one of those nights where they were able to find ways to give him trouble,” Molitor said. “We didn’t want to push him past where he was because it was a hard fight to get through six.”
Berrios seemed irritated in the fifth inning, when he had to wait out a delay while the Tigers successfully challenged an out call at first base on Victor Reyes, then watched a Leonys Martin hot smash glance off Logan Morrison’s glove for a single. And when umpire Tim Timmons ruled that Jaime Candelario had been hit by a two-strike baseball, loading the bases, Berrios grew even more aggravated.
“He kept saying, yes, yes,” Berrios said, “but I don’t think it hit him.”
The inning ended moments later when Martinez hit a ball to Morrison. The first baseman tossed the ball to Berrios, who stomped on the base.
“I wasn’t upset about anything. That’s just how the game happened,” Berrios said through interpreter Elvis Martinez. “It was an emotional moment, that I was able to get out of the jam.”