Manager Paul Molitor said it is "probably a good bet" that Belisle will be unavailable Friday, according to Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Belisle threw 12 pitches Thursday after throwing 16 the day before, neither of which are extreme numbers. However, he did throw 1.2 innings Wednesday and blew a save Thursday, so it seems Molitor will avoid using him Friday if possible. Most of the Twins' top setup men also pitched both of the last two days, so there a number of ways Molitor could go if the Twins wind up in a save situation Friday night.
Belisle allowed a solo home run to blow his fourth save of the season Thursday against Toronto. The Twins ended up winning in extra innings to bail out their closer. Belisle has converted seven of nine save opportunities with a 3.29 ERA, 0.80 WHIP and 11.2 K/9 through 13.2 innings since taking over the closer job. With the Twins fighting for a playoff berth, Belisle should have a few more chances to pad the saves column over the final weeks of the season.
Belisle (2-2) pitched 1.2 scoreless innings without allowing a baserunner and was credited with the victory in Wednesday's win over San Diego. Dating back to securing his first save of the season Aug. 6, Belisle has been a valuable fantasy asset with two wins, seven saves, a 2.84 ERA, 0.79 WHIP and 11.4 K/9. Those are strong numbers in all settings, and it helps his value that the Twins are making a strong push for a playoff berth.
Belisle struck out two in a clean ninth inning Friday for his seventh save. Belisle has a mediocre 4.36 ERA on the season, but he has performed admirably since taking over as closer in the wake of the Brandon Kintzler deal. He is now 7-for-8 in save opportunities with a 3.27 ERA and a nifty 16:3 K:BB over 11 innings, as he has stepped up just when the surging Twins needed him.
Belisle retired all three Royals he faced Thursday en route to his sixth save. Belisle worked a clean bottom of the ninth after Minnesota's offense scored three runs off Kansas City closer Kelvin Herrera to turn a 2-1 deficit into a 4-2 lead in the top of the frame. He has transitioned seamlessly into the closer role with six saves in seven tries since taking over for Brandon Kintzler.
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