Game 29: Offense stays hot in win over Orioles
FORT MYERS, Fla. — Josh Willingham homered and Chris Parmelee and Wilkin Ramirez both doubled twice to help lead the Twins to a 9-5 win over the Orioles on Tuesday at Hammond Stadium.
With the win, the Twins improved to 15-14 in Grapefruit League play. They travel to Bradenton on Wednesday to play the Pirates in a day game at McKechnie Field.
What went right: The offense has been on fire recently, and it continued against the Orioles.
Aaron Hicks, Parmelee and Ramirez each collected three hits while Willingham hit his third homer of the spring.
Top prospect Miguel Sano played in front of the home crowd at Hammond Stadium in a Grapefruit League for the first time in his career, and went 1-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored. He didn’t really have any balls hit his way but the Twins have raved about how much he’s improved defensively.
It’ll be exciting to see another top prospect play on Wednesday, as Byron Buxton is on the travel list to play in Bradenton. Buxton, ranked as the club’s No. 2 overall prospect, was the No. 2 overall pick in last year’s First-Year Player Draft.
Relievers Jared Burton and Glen Perkins both threw a scoreless inning. Burton has pitched much better recently and Perkins has yet to give up a run in Grapefruit League action.
What went wrong: Right-hander Liam Hendriks was pitching well but left the game in the third inning after being struck on the right hand by a line drive from Brian Roberts.
Hendriks, who tossed 2 2/3 scoreless innings, said the injury is minor and that he hopes to throw his scheduled bullpen session on Thursday. Luckily for Hendriks it was just a bruise and left his pinky slightly swollen.
Hendriks said he still hasn’t been told that he’s made the rotation but as long as he can bounce back from the hand injury, it seems like a safe bet considering Samuel Deduno and P.J. Walters were both reassigned to Minor League camp before the game.
Relievers Alex Burnett and Casey Fien were only OK, as Burnett gave up a run in 1 1/3 innings while Fien surrendered two runs in two innings.
What they said: “I have no idea yet. It’s still up in the air. Obviously, it stinks. But at least it was a scoreless outing.” — Hendriks on if he’s made the team.
What’s next:Right-hander Vance Worley is set to start for the Twins in a 1:05 p.m. ET game on Wednesday against the Pirates at McKechnie Field. Worley is likely to be Minnesota’s Opening Day starter, as he’s starting five days before the regular season opener against the Tigers on Monday at Target Field. But the Twins have yet to officially name an Opening Day starter. Right-hander A.J. Burnett is scheduled to take the mound for Pittsburgh.
Injury update: Shortstop Pedro Florimon tweaked his ankle running the bases and won’t play Wednesday for precautionary reasons. … Right-hander Tim Wood (strained rotator cuff) is likely to start the year on the disabled list, according to general manager Terry Ryan.