Game 3: Twins get first Grapefruit League win
FORT MYERS, Fla. — Justin Morneau hit a three-run double and Chris Colabello provided the go-ahead run with an RBI single in the eighth inning to help lead the Twins to their first Grapefruit League victory of the year in a 5-4 win over the Pirates on Monday at Hammond Stadium.
Morneau laced a bases-clearing double to left-center field off of Pirates right-hander Jeanmar Gomez in the fourth inning, after Jamey Carroll singled and both Joe Mauer and Josh Willingham walked with nobody out. Morneau later came around to score on an RBI single from Brian Dozier off of right-hander Brooks Brown.
What went right: Morneau hit two balls hard, as he lined into a double play at first base in his first at-bat before bringing home three runs with a double in the fourth. He’s feeling healthy and is set to play in his third straight game tomorrow against the Blue Jays in Dunedin. He’s currently scheduled to bat fourth and serve as designated hitter but texted Twins manager Ron Gardenhire during his media session that he wants to play first tomorrow. So we’ll see where he plays.
Carroll has looked solid this spring, and went 1-for-3 while sparking Minnesota’s four-run rally in the fourth with a leadoff single. Josh Willingham went 1-for-2 and is batting .500 this spring. And Colabello had the game-winning RBI single in the eighth a day after tying up the game the day before with an RBI single in the bottom of the ninth in Minnesota’s eventual 10-7 loss to the Rays.
Right-hander Vance Worley looked sharp in his debut, throwing two scoreless frames despite not throwing his split-finger or his changeup. He’s going to be a big key to the rotation this season after joining the club via the trade that sent Ben Revere to the Phillies.
Samuel Deduno, Cole De Vries and Pedro Hernandez each threw a scoreless inning in relief. Hernandez tossed a scoreless ninth to pick up the save.
What went wrong: Alex Burnett, Casey Fien, Bryan Augenstein and Esmerling Vasquez each gave up a run in relief. Vasquez gave up the hardest hit ball, as he served up a game-tying homer to Jose Tabata in the seventh inning.
Eduardo Escobar dropped pop-up hit by Lucas may in foul territory in the eighth inning with Cole De Vries on the mound. The play would’ve ended the inning and May ended up capitalizing by doubling on a bloop to left. But De Vries was able to get out of the jam.
What they said: “I liked it. He looks like a gunslinger out there with his windup. He looks like he’s going to draw a pistol. I always like guys like that. And then he delivered, too. He was as advertised.” — Gardenhire said about Worley.
What’s next: Right-hander Mike Pelfrey, who is coming off Tommy John surgery in May, is set to make his Twins debut on Tuesday at 1:05 p.m. ET against the Blue Jays in Dunedin. Mauer and Morneau are also set to play against Toronto, as they’re gearing up for the World Baseball Classic. The Blue Jays are set to start left-hander Ricky Romero.
Injury update: Third baseman Trevor Plouffe (strained right calf) is scheduled to play in his first Grapefruit League game tomorrow against the Blue Jays in Dunedin.