ARLINGTON, Texas — Devin Smeltzer threw 71 pitches on Thursday night, Aug. 15, in Texas, helping save the Twins from tapping into their bullpen, and saving the game in the process. He knew what was coming next: A return trip to Triple-A was on the horizon for a fresh arm.

That fresh arm arrived Friday in the form of Lewis Thorpe, who will take over for Smeltzer in the long-relief role for the time being. Thorpe, a starter like Smeltzer, has bounced back and forth between pitching in the bullpen with the Twins and starting for the Red Wings, but adapting between the two, he said, is not too difficult.

“It’s not really a thing. I think more of like it’s more of being able to calm down,” he said. “It’s just pitching. As a reliever, you don’t come in trying to throw 100. I’m just going to do what I’m going to do.”

Thorpe was originally called up in late June. He was optioned days later after making his first career start. He was called up on July 22 and sent back down on Aug. 3 before his most recent call up. He has a 4.63 earned-run average this season in Triple-A in 93 1/3 innings. Coming into Friday, he had a 3.18 ERA with the Twins in four games.

“One guy goes up, and if they need arms, they need arms. So we know the deal,” Thorpe said. “It’s not like we get angry or anything when we get sent down. We’re just going down to get our work in, and when they need us, we come back up.”

No rehab for Cruz?

A day after hitting inside, Nelson Cruz hit on the field on Friday for the first time since rupturing his ECU tendon in his wrist more than a week ago. He reported no issues after taking batting practice.

Though the injury sounds severe, Cruz has said multiple times that he doesn’t feel pain in his wrist post-rupture. Cruz will be eligible to come off the IL on Monday and while he won’t necessarily be activated that day, it appears likely he could avoid a rehab stint.

“As long as nothing changes, I think there’s a chance that he could be back fairly soon, potentially maybe after the 10 days, but fairly soon after that,” manager Rocco Baldelli said. “But again, we’re going to wait and see how everything goes. We’re still in a spot where it’s a pretty unique injury, but it’s an injury that you still have to make sure he’s OK with.”

Briefly

Triple-A reliever Ian Krol was suspended for 50 games without pay for a second positive test for a drug of abuse. Krol, signed during the season as a minor league free agent, was 0-1 with a 5.23 ERA in 20 2/3 innings for the Red Wings. … Thursday night marked the 55th game of Luis Arraez’s career. Per Elias, only three players in Twins history had more hits through their first 55 games than Arraez. With 66 hits, he is behind just Kirby Puckett (81), Tony Oliva (71) and Rod Carew (70). … Saturday’s Twins game is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. but game time will be closer to 7:35 p.m. as the Rangers are hosting a pre-game ceremony.