Twins allow Fernando Rodney to leave game early so he can become a United States citizen

After 16 years in MLB and 321 saves, Twins closer Fernando Rodney is a United States citizen. The Dominican Republic native posted that he became a citizen Monday morning in the Miami area.

Rodney got two outs in the fifth on Sunday and then flew to Miami

Rodney, 41, normally closes for the Twins, but on Sunday afternoon, he needed to catch a flight to Miami so that he could go to his immigration hearing Monday morning. So with the Twins down 4-1 in the fifth inning and runners on second and third, manager Paul Molitor called on Rodney to put out the fire. And he did just that, getting a strikeout and a groundout to end the threat. Then he left Target Field and headed for the airport.

The Twins would go on to win 11-7.

“He had a flight that he had to catch and all that kind of stuff so we had postponed it a couple of times, trying to get it a time that was more feasible, but it turned out tomorrow was the only day and so [we] got him in the game a little earlier,” Molitor said. “It worked out pretty well because he got a couple of really big outs.”

Rodney has only pitched in the fifth inning one other time: way back in July, 2005.

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Minnesota Twins pitcher Fernando Rodney
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JULY 12: Fernando Rodney #56 of the Minnesota Twins celebrates defeating the Tampa Bay Rays after the game on July 12, 2018 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Twins defeated the Rays 5-1. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
LAKELAND, FL - FEBRUARY 29: Fernando Rodney of the Detroit Tigers on February 29, 2004 in Lakeland, Florida. (Photo by MLB Photos via Getty Images) (Mandatory Copyright: Copyright 2004 MLB Photos)
CHICAGO - JUNE 17: Fernando Rodney #56 of the Detroit Tigers pitches against the Chicago Cubs on June 17, 2006 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. The Tigers defeated the Cubs 9-3. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
DETROIT - APRIL 02: Losing pitcher Fernando Rodney #56 of the Detroit Tigers looks on from the dugout after he gave up the go ahead runs in the top of the tenth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays during the Home Opener for the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on April 2, 2007 in Detroit, Michigan. Tigers won 5-3 in ten innings. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
DETROIT - SEPTEMBER 30: (L-R) Closer Fernando Rodney #56 and Miguel Cabrera #24 of the Detroit Tigers react after the Tigers defeated the Minnesota Twins 7-2 during the game on September 30, 2009 at Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
ST. LOUIS - MAY 22: Fernando Rodney #56 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim celebrates a victory against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on May 22, 2010 in St. Louis, Missouri. The Angels beat the Cardinals 10-7. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 29: Fernando Rodney (56) of the Tampa Bay Rays poses during Photo Day on Wednesday, February 29, 2012 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Florida. (Photo by Robbie Rogers/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 24: Closer Fernando Rodney #56 of the Tampa Bay Rays throws a pitch in the ninth inning of the first game of an interleague doubleheader against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on June 24, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Rays won 3-2. (Photo by Brian Garfinkel/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA - AUGUST 17: Fernando Rodney #56 of the Tampa Bay Rays looks on during batting practice before the game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on August 17, 2012 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jeff Golden/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - MARCH 16: Fernando Rodney #56 of Team Dominican Republic is seen before Pool 2, Game 6 against Team Puerto Rico in the second round of the 2013 World Baseball Classic on Saturday, March 16, 2013 at Marlins Park in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Tom DiPace/WBCI/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - MARCH 19: Fernando Rodney #56 of Team Dominican Republic pitches in the 2013 World Baseball Classic Championship Game against Team Puerto Rico on Tuesday, March 19, 2013 at AT&T Park in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/WBCI/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - JUNE 2: Closing pitcher Fernando Rodney #56 of the Tampa Bay Rays celebrates with teammates after the Rays defeated the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on June 2, 2013 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Rays defeated the Indians 11-3. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
PEORIA, AZ - FEBRUARY 20: Fernando Rodney #56 of the Seattle Mariners poses for a portrait during spring training photo day on February 20, 2014 in Peoria, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
May 3 2014: Seattle Mariners relief pitcher Fernando Rodney (56) delivers the pitch during the game against the Houston Astros. Seattle Mariners defeated the Houston Astros 9-8 at Minute Maid Park in Houston. (Photo by Juan DeLeon/Icon SMI/Corbis via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 05: Fernando Rodney #56 of the Seattle Mariners pitches against the Texas Rangers in the bottom of the ninth inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington on September 5, 2014 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 25: Fernando Rodney celebrates his save in the last inning. The Blue Jays lost to the visiting Seattle Mariners 7-5. (Lucas Oleniuk/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Fernando Rodney works against the Cincinnati Reds in the seventh inning at Wrigley Field in Chicago on Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2015. The Cubs won, 5-4. (Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images)
PEORIA, AZ - FEBRUARY 26: Fernando Rodney #56 of the San Diego Padres participates in Photo Day at the Peoria Sports Complex on February 26, 2016 in Peoria, Arizona. (Photo by Andy Hayt/San Diego Padres/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - APRIL 11: Closer Fernando Rodney #56 of the San Diego Padres delivers a pitch against the Philadelphia Phillies during the ninth inning at Citizens Bank Park on April 11, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Padres defeated the Phillies 4-3. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - JULY 08: Fernando Rodney #56 of the Miami Marlins pitches during the eighth inning of the game against the Cincinnati Reds at Marlins Park on July 8, 2016 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 11: Fernando Rodney #56 of the Miami Marlins signs autographs during Gatorade All-Star Workout Day for the 87th Annual MLB All-Star game at PETCO Park on July 11, 2016 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - JULY 12: National League All-Star Fernando Rodney of the Miami Marlins poses for a portrait as he enters Petco Park following the Red Carpet parade before the 2016 MLB All-Star Game on Tuesday, July 12, 2016 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Joey Terrill/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
PHOENIX, AZ - APRIL 09: Relief pitcher Fernando Rodney #56 of the Arizona Diamondbacks throws a warm up pitch during the MLB game against the Cleveland Indians at Chase Field on April 9, 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Diamondbacks defeated the Indians 3-2. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, AZ - MAY 11: Arizona Diamondbacks relief pitcher Fernando Rodney (56) celebrates the save during the MLB baseball game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Arizona Diamondbacks on May 11, 2017 at Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - APRIL 11: Fernando Rodney #56 of the Minnesota Twins looks on during the game against the Houston Astros on April 11, 2018 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Twins defeated the Astros 9-8.(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MAY 21: Mitch Garver #23 and Fernando Rodney #56 of the Minnesota Twins celebrate defeating the against the Detroit Tigers 4-2 after the game on May 21, 2018 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JUNE 24: Fernando Rodney #56 of the Minnesota Twins celebrates defeating the Texas Rangers after the game on June 24, 2018 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Twins defeated the Rangers 2-0. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
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Rodney debuted in the MLB in 2002

The Tigers signed Rodney as a free agent in 1997, and he made his major league debut for the team on May 4, 2002 (though he didn’t exceed rookie limits until 2005).

Over his 16 seasons in MLB, Rodney has pitched for the Tigers, Angels, Rays, Mariners, Cubs, Padres, Marlins, Diamondbacks and Twins. He’s collected 321 saves — tied for 18th all time — while pitching to the tune of a 3.70 ERA. He has 21 saves this year for the Twins. Along he way, he invented his “bow and arrow” pose following a successful save outing, a routine he first performed in 2012.

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