Mahle rewards Baldelli’s faith in critical spot

ANAHEIM — When you ask the Twins’ starting pitchers about the managerial decisions to pull them from the game, they say it’s never a dialogue. The call has been made; they’re simply informed of the decision, either on the mound during an inning or on the bench between frames.

But here’s what Sonny Gray said about Tyler Mahle when the Twins dealt for his old teammate at the Trade Deadline: “Mahle gets better as the game goes on.” Here’s what Reds manager David Bell told Rocco Baldelli when they connected on the phone following the trade: “Hand Mahle the ball, let him pitch, let him do his job.”

So, when Mahle pitched himself into a jam in the sixth inning on Friday, Baldelli strode to the Angel Stadium mound, thinking he was going to turn to his bullpen, as he almost always does in that situation. But he changed his mind — and Mahle escaped, capping six shutout innings to pitch his new team to a 4-0 victory over the Angels and snap a three-game losing streak.

“In his career, he’s thrown a lot of pitches and gotten through a lot of situations,” Baldelli said. “It’s kind of what he does. It’s one of the things that I think he’s really good at from everything that I know and everything that I’m learning about him.”

Mahle cruised through the first five innings, allowing two singles and a walk, before hitting…

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