No timeout was a blessing for Pena
Infielder smacks game-winner after being forced to hit pitch
CHICAGO -- Tony Pena almost short-circuited his electrifying base hit on Sunday.
While waiting for a pitch from the Twins' Craig Breslow, the infielder tried to call timeout by raising his hand toward plate umpire Bob Davidson.
"I was going to, but I recognized that he wasn't going to give it to me," Pena said, "so I just ..."
So he just put his right hand back on the bat and smashed the pitch right over Breslow to score Mark Teahen with the winning run in a 12-inning, 5-4 victory. Thank goodness Davidson didn't react to Pena's timeout gesture.
"Who knows what would have happened?" Pena said. "Baseball is a crazy game. Who knows how to explain it?"
Pena, benched as the shortstop because of his light hitting, was 2-for-2 as the designated hitter. He entered the game as a pinch-runner for designated hitter Billy Butler in the eighth inning.
Research came up with this quirky stat: Pena was the fourth player this year that entered a game as a pinch-runner and then delivered a walk-off RBI. The others were the Giants' Daniel Ortmeier (April 9), the Marlins' Wes Helms (April 19) and the Rays' Nathan Haynes (April 25).
"They know everything nowadays," Pena said.
We also know that Pena is batting 1.000 as a DH and has a 0.00 ERA in his one inning as a pitcher.
"I just try to come here every day and do what I have to do to get better. And try to have fun," he said.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.