Found May 28, 2012 on
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MINNEAPOLIS Some closers have to wait several days before getting a chance to redeem themselves after a blown save. Matt Capps had to wait just 24 hours.
One day after blowing his first save of the year Sunday in a loss to Detroit, Capps bounced back by picking up the save Monday in Minnesota's 5-4 come-from-behind win over the visiting Oakland Athletics.
On Sunday, Capps allowed a two-run home run to Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera in the ninth inning, which turned a 3-2 Twins lead into a 4-3 Detroit advantage. It was Capps' first blown save of the season after previously going 9-for-9 in save sitations up to that point.
Capps heard the boos from the Target Field crowd on Sunday after giving up the home run -- and again when he took the mound in the ninth inning Monday. Twins fans are understandably frustrated with their team now 16-32 on the season, but their anger Sunday was directed at Capps.
"I don't blame people for booing. They expect us to do a job and I'm no different from the 24 other guys in here," Capps said. "They expect me to do my job and bottom line is yesterday I didn't -- and that's very fresh in their memories, in their minds."
With that said, Capps was glad he was able to take the mound one day later and make amends for the blown save. As Twins fans booed the end of Sunday's game, they cheered Capps and Minnesota when the final out was recorded Monday.
"Whether you're up by one or up by three or up by 10, you want to get back on the mound and try to erase the day before as quickly as possible," Capps said. "No matter what we say, 'We come in here, we forget about it,' until you go out there that next time and get a job done, it still lingers a little bit. So it feels good to go out there and get a win for us."
Capps certainly made things interesting in picking up save No. 10. Twins second baseman Alexi Casilla bobbled a routine grounder to lead off the ninth inning, allowing Oakland's Collin Cowgill to reach first base. After pinch hitter Seth Smith flew out to left field, Capps walked second baseman Jemile Weeks on five pitches -- and again heard it from the Target Field crowd.
With one out, Coco Crisp lined one back up the middle and hit Capps in the glove. But Capps couldn't field the ball cleanly enough to try and turn two, instead throwing to first for the sure out. Still, the play put runners on second and third with two outs and Josh Reddick coming to bat.
Reddick had already hit a homer and a triple earlier in the game, so his at-bat prompted a mound visit from Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire. Capps and the Twins decided to avoid pitching to Reddick and instead loaded the bases by intentionally walking him.
"Reddick is their hottest hitter. He's been killing the ball," Gardenhire said. "I normally don't like telling my closer to walk anybody, but with the way that guy was swinging we thought that was the right thing to do."
Capps said he would have liked to challenge Reddick, but added that Gardenhire's decision was the right one.
"Guys in this room, they don't want to back down from anything; I think that's any of us," Capps said. "We want to go right after it. It's me or him. You're kind of side-stepping that by walking a guy. But like I said, that was his decision and it was the correct decision and I'm glad he took it away from me."
With the bases loaded and Twins fans biting their nails with Capps' blown save still fresh in their minds, Minnesota closed out the game when Capps struck out Jonny Gomes on three pitches.
The win snapped a five-game losing streak for the Twins, and it allowed Capps to bounce back after his most frustrating outing of the season.
"There's not a bigger competitor in this team than Capps, and no one wants to win more. There's not a better teammate," said Minnesota's Ryan Doumit. "When he has a game like this, we're all cheering for him. When he has a game like yesterday, we all feel for him. He's kind of one of the catalysts of this team. For him to come in and do the job like he's done so many before tonight was great."
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