Game 1: Twins win Grapefruit League opener
FORT MYERS, Fla. — Mike Pelfrey tossed two scoreless innings to help lead the Twins to an 8-2 win over the Red Sox in the Grapefruit League opener for both teams on Friday at JetBlue Park.
Chris Colabello added two RBIs on a two-run double in fourth inning, while Trevor Plouffe and Oswaldo Arcia each had an RBI.
What went right: Pelfrey looked sharp in his first outing, allowing just one hit and throwing 13 of his 20 pitches for strikes.
Left-hander Brian Duensing also turned in a perfect third inning with a strikeout, while right-hander Samuel Deduno tossed two scoreless frames. Deduno also struck out three and walked one. Left-handers Caleb Thielbar and Aaron Thompson also each threw a scoreless inning with two strikeouts.
Plouffe opened the scoring with a single in the fourth inning to bring home Brian Dozier, who led off the inning with a single. Plouffe scored on a single to right field from Arcia that was misplayed by right fielder Bryce Brentz before Arcia came home on a single from Wilkin Ramirez.
The Twins added three more runs in the fifth on a sacrifice fly from Arcia and a two-run double from Colabello. Danny Santana added an RBI single in the seventh before reaching on a run-scoring error in the ninth.
The Twins also looked good defensively, with Plouffe turning a nice double play and Jason Bartlett making a diving play at shortstop.
What went wrong: Not much, but right-hander Casey Fien gave up a solo homer to Brentz in the sixth inning. But given his success the last two years, Fien is a lock for the bullpen this year and is expected to be one of the club’s top setup men along with right-hander Jared Burton.
The Twins also struck out 13 times on the afternoon with Jason Kubel going 0-for-3 with three strikeouts. Alex Presley, Kennys Vargas, Bartlett and Colabello also struck out twice.
Left-hander Sean Gilmartin, who was acquired from the Braves in the trade that sent Ryan Doumit to Atlanta, gave up a run in the ninth inning, allowing two hits and a walk.
What they said: “I don’t know what I want to get [my time between pitches] to but I want to get through an inning without the outfielder or infielder’s feet going numb. So I’m sure they’ll appreciate that, especially in April and May in Minnesota. I don’t know what a good time is personally but I definitely need to be quicker. It’s something that I’m continuing to try to work at and get better at.” — Pelfrey on improving his tempo this season.
What’s next: Left-hander Scott Diamond is set to start the home opener for the Twins at renovated Hammond Stadium against the Red Sox on Saturday at 1:05 p.m. ET. Diamond, who is looking to bounce back after posting a 5.43 ERA in 24 starts last year, is competing for the final spot in the rotation along with Vance Worley, Samuel Deduno and Kyle Gibson. Right-hander Allen Webster is slated to start for Boston in the second straight meeting between the two clubs.
Injury update: Third baseman Miguel Sano is being checked out by doctors this afternoon after feeling something in his elbow on a throw during Thursday’s intrasquad game. Sano is expected to be held out of action the next few days even if the injury is minor.