Games 2/3: Twins earn split vs. Rays, Red Sox
It marked the Twins’ first split-squad action of the spring, as they don’t play in any more split-squads until March 16, when they host the Orioles and travel to face the Red Sox.
What went right: Both starters for the Twins — Francisco Liriano and Terry Doyle — tossed two scoreless innings in their Grapefruit League debuts. Liriano allowed one hit and walked one with two strikeouts against the Red Sox. And Doyle didn’t allow a hit and walked one with a strikeout against the Rays.
First baseman Chris Parmelee and catcher J.R. Towles both hit two-run homers to help lead the Twins to their win over the Rays at Charlotte Sports Park. Alexi Casilla went 3-for-5 and Trevor Plouffe went 2-for-3 in that game.
Ben Revere paced the offense at JetBlue Park, going 2-for-4 with two RBIs, including a leadoff single against Josh Beckett. Ray Chang went 1-for-1 with two walks, but left the 8-3 loss early after taking a knee the jaw in the seventh inning while trying to break up a double play.
What went wrong: Jason Bulger, who is trying to make the club as a reliever, struggled mightily against the Red Sox, allowing five runs on four walks and two hits — including a Lars Anderson grand slam — while recording just one out.
The Twins made several sloppy plays against the Red Sox, including an error by third baseman Sean Burroughs and an ill-advised throw home on the same play by Tsuyoshi Nishioka. Revere also made a baserunning gaffe late in the game.
What they said: “The first batter I was kind of all over the place but after that I kind of made some adjustments,” said Liriano, who threw 13 of his 25 pitches for strikes. “I was throwing the ball down and working the fastball better.”
What’s next: The Twins play their first and only night game of the spring on Monday, as they play host to the Red Sox at Hammond Stadium at 6:05 p.m. CT in a game that will be televised on FS North. Right-hander Jason Marquis is set to make his Grapefruit League debut with the Twins against Red Sox right-hander Clay Buhholz. Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, Denard Span, Ryan Doumit and Josh Willingham — who didn’t play on Sunday — are expected to return to action Monday night.
Injury update: Right-hander Joel Zumaya elected to undergo Tommy John surgery later this month, according to assistant general manager Rob Antony. He hasn’t decided if he will rehab on his own or with the Twins. … Infielder Luke Hughes (strained right shoulder) made his Grapefruit League debut against the Red Sox, going 0-for-3 as a designated hitter. He also took infield practice and threw to first base without any issues. … Infielder Ray Chang took a knee to the jaw trying to break up a double play, but said after the game he was OK.