Pelfrey on early-exit loss: 'I didn't get ahead'

Pelfrey on early-exit loss: 'I didn't get ahead'

CLEVELAND -- After winning the first game of Wednesday's doubleheader behind a strong outing from Kyle Gibson, the Twins were looking to keep that momentum going into the second game against the Indians at Progressive Field.

But a subpar outing from Mike Pelfrey put an end to their hope of sweeping the twin bill, as the right-hander lasted a season-low 1 2/3 innings in a 10-2 loss. It was the second-shortest outing of Pelfrey's career, as he put the Twins in a 4-0 hole in the second inning and they couldn't recover from it. It was tough timing for Pelfrey, an impending free agent, as it could've been his last start in a Twins uniform after three years in Minnesota.

"I just wasn't very good," Pelfrey said. "It was the biggest start of the year for me and I didn't do anything right. It's kinda like somebody kicked me in the stomach. It hurts. I let these guys down. I was terrible."

The Twins, though, still picked up a half-game on the Angels in the chase for the second American League Wild Card spot, as the Angels lost to the A's. They're a game back of both the Angels and the Astros, pending the results of Houston's game against the Mariners.

But they lost out on a prime opportunity to gain ground with two wins in a day, as they were shut down by rookie right-hander Cody Anderson and hurt by a play at first base in the second where it appeared Pelfrey beat Francisco Lindor to the bag for the final out of the inning. Lindor was ruled safe, however, and the call stood after a review that lasted for more than four minutes. The Indians went on to score two more runs after the play at first.

"We felt good going into the second game, but we knew Anderson has been pitching well and we got off to a rough start," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "Mike was struggling a little bit. We didn't get the call at first base and I'm not sure why. And all of a sudden it's 4-0 instead of 2-0."

Pelfrey believed he beat Lindor to the bag, and that he got his foot down in time, but there wasn't enough evidence to show his foot was definitely on it. After the review, his first pitch was wild and allowed a run to score. He was then pulled after allowing an RBI single to Carlos Santana with two outs.

"I don't know why they didn't overturn it," Pelfrey said. "I was on the bag. It was a big turn in the game."

But Pelfrey said it wasn't an excuse for the poor outing, as he took it hard. The right-hander will finish the year at 6-11 with a 4.26 ERA in 30 starts. He would've been an option for a potential Game 163 on Monday or the AL Wild Card Game on Tuesday, but his rough outing is expected to take him out of consideration.

"I didn't get ahead," Pelfrey said. "I didn't throw strikes. I didn't command the fastball. I got hit and I got hit hard. That's what happened. I expected to be better than that and obviously I wasn't. So it's frustrating."

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.