Lineups for Twins and Red Sox at Hammond Stadium

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Today marks the first game between the Twins and Red Sox in their annual battle for the Mayor’s Cup.

Well, actually there’s been some debate whether the Mayor’s Cup exists now that the Red Sox moved into JetBlue Park last year, as both teams are actually located in unincorporated Lee County and not in the city of Fort Myers. Either way, it’s the first of eight meetings between the two clubs in Grapefruit League play this year.

Josh Willingham returns to the lineup for the Twins after sitting out yesterday’s game in Jupiter with back stiffness. He leads all hitters in Spring Training with a .727 batting average. It also will be the last game for Justin Morneau, Joe Mauer and Glen Perkins before they depart for Arizona for the World Baseball Classic.

Right-hander Kyle Gibson also gets his first Grapefruit League start today. He’s been the most impressive pitcher I’ve seen in camp so far — his fastball was hitting 96 mph in his last outing — and has a legitimate chance to make the rotation.

I also talked to Scott Diamond (elbow) and Anthony Swarzak (ribs) this morning and they’re both encouraged by their recent progress. Diamond threw a full bullpen session and is scheduled to throw another one tomorrow with the hope of getting into his first game in mid-March. Swarzak played catch on Thursday and Friday but still doesn’t know when his first bullpen will be.

Red Sox (4-4)
1. Shane Victorino, RF
2. Ryan Sweeney, LF
3. Will Middlebrooks, 3B
4. Lyle Overbay, 1B
5. Juan Carlos Linares, DH
6. Mitch Maier, CF
7. Daniel Butler, C
8. Jose Iglesias, SS
9. Jonathan Diaz, 2B

RHP Clay Buchholz (Alfredo Aceves, Clayton Mortensen, Allen Webster, Jose De La Torre)

Twins (5-2)
1. Joe Benson, CF
2. Jamey Carroll, 2B
3. Joe Mauer, C
4. Josh Willingham, LF
5. Justin Morneau, 1B
6. Ryan Doumit, DH
7. Chris Parmelee, RF
8. Eduardo Escobar, 3B
9. Pedro Florimon, SS

RHP Kyle Gibson (Glen Perkins, Brian Duensing, P.J. Walters, Esmerling Vasquez, Andrew Albers, Deolis Guerra, Anthony Slama, Caleb Thielbar)

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