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Gardy wants Flores to use breaking ball

Gardy wants Flores to use breaking ball

CLEVELAND -- The Twins turned to left-hander Randy Flores on Saturday night in a left-handed specialist situation, and the club had two more options going into Sunday's finale.

Manager Ron Gardenhire used both Jose Mijares and Brian Fuentes in Sunday's 6-2 win. Mijares pitched a scoreless one-third of an inning, while Fuentes hurled a perfect ninth. Mijares had been activated from the disabled list on Saturday, but Gardenhire said that he chose not to use him after Mijares had thrown 35 pitches in a simulated game on Friday.

"He said he was fine, but we thought about it and just didn't feel comfortable," Gardenhire said. "One of those where it just wasn't right."

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So instead, the Twins turned to Flores, who gave up two straight hits to lefties to start the 11th inning on Saturday. Gardenhire said that he talked with the reliever on Sunday morning. The focus of the talk was to get Flores to realize that he has to throw breaking pitches to left-handed hitters, not just fastballs like the lefty did in his outing against the Indians.

"I talked to him already this morning and said if I want fastballs to left-handers, I'll leave a right-hander in," Gardenhire said. "I told him that if you come in, you have to throw breaking balls. That's why I bring a left-hander to face a left-hander. I understand knocking a hitter off with a fastball, but you have to spin the ball. He threw all fastballs, every pitch. We talked about it and I explained to him just that."

Twins catcher Joe Mauer was calling for breaking balls but Flores was shaking him off. Flores told Gardenhire that he had been giving up hits off his breaking balls lately.

"He said, 'They've been hitting my breaking balls, so I'm going to locate my fastball,'" Gardenhire said. "But that's really over-thinking there. He wants to do the job and he really wants to be a part of it. But you can't over-think these things."

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