Ron Gardenhire was a little worried about the Twins’ past two games in Houston. Long reliever Anthony Swarzak threw a season-high 70 pitches Monday meaning the Twins’ long reliever and early-inning bailout artist was unavailable — “and we’ve got a couple of kids going” the manager said.
Pedro Hernandez didn’t pitch like a kid though. Making his first major league start since June 23 the Venezuelan lefthander ripped through the Astros’ lineup with little trouble needing only 70 pitches to complete six innings and hand over a 4-1 lead to the bullpen in a game the Twins eventually won 9-6 in 12 innings.
Glen Perkins gave up three runs in the bottom of the ninth to send it into extra innings.
Hernandez was no sure thing especially against Houston’s promising rookie Jarred Cosart and the Twins didn’t even commit to Hernandez for the start until it became clear that Class AAA Rochester’s season wouldn’t end in time to bring a Red Wings pitcher to the big leagues. Hernandez experienced som