Wilk does yeoman's work to save 'pen

Wilk does yeoman's work to save 'pen

CLEVELAND -- In his first appearance with the Twins after officially joining the ballclub on Thursday, left-handed pitcher Adam Wilk was brought into Sunday's 8-3 loss to the Indians in the third inning with one on and two outs.

Wilk promptly allowed a single to Roberto Perez, and then fell behind Jason Kipnis. The left-hander left a 3-1 fastball middle-in to Kipnis, and the Indians' second baseman did not miss it. Kipnis connected for a three-run homer to right -- his second homer of the day -- to give the Indians the 8-0 lead.

Kipnis' three-run homer

"That first inning, I fell behind a lot of guys, 1-0, 2-1," Wilk said. "I'm not going to be very successful doing that because I don't have overpowering stuff. I just got to attack guys, get ahead, put them on their heels and make my pitches as opposed to giving them something to hit."

Wilk then allowed a double to Francisco Lindor before retiring Michael Brantley to end the inning. That was the worst of his outing, as the left-hander returned in the fourth inning and went on to pitch three scoreless innings without allowing a hit and striking out two.

"Obviously I don't like coming in and giving up the runs," Wilk said. "But I think after that first inning I was in there, I did pretty well. I threw up some zeros."

Wilk came into the game in relief of starter Hector Santiago, who allowed six runs on seven hits in 2 2/3 innings. Santiago was impressed with how Wilk logged three-plus innings.

"We could have easily pulled him after one or two [innings], but he settled down really well and saved our bullpen a little bit."

Sunday's game was only the second appearance for Wilk this season, as his previous outing came a week ago with the Mets in an emergency start for Matt Harvey after he was suspended. In that start, Wilk allowed five runs in 3 2/3 innings, resulting in him being waived and ultimately claimed by Minnesota.

"[He pitched] as advertised in terms of what I envisioned from him," Twins manager Paul Molitor said of Wilk's performance on Sunday. "He doesn't throw it real hard, he has to hit his spots. He threw some nice breaking balls and he just mixes it up enough to try to keep those guys off balance to get through 3 1/3. It was good to get him out there after being here a few days and not getting the chance to pitch."

William Kosileski is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cleveland who covered the Twins on Sunday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.