Games 4/5: Twins win twice in split-squad action
FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Twins displayed plenty of offense on Monday, as they scored a combined 21 runs in their two wins in split-squad action against the Blue Jays and Orioles.
In their game against Toronto at Hammond Stadium, Kevin Correia tossed three hitless innings and Jermaine Mitchell homered and drove in four runs in a 12-2 win. Meanwhile, over in Sarasota, right-hander Vance Worley threw three scoreless frames and Wilkin Ramirez homered and had four RBIs in a 9-2 victory.
What went right: Correia was solid, as he walked just one batter and didn’t allow a hit over three scoreless innings.
It was the second straight strong outing from Correia early in spring, as he also didn’t allow a hit in two innings in Thursday’s intrasquad game.
Right-hander Kyle Gibson was also sharp, throwing three scoreless innings and both hits he gave up came on bloop singles. Twins pitching coach Rick Anderson said it was the best he’s seen Gibson look all spring.
Mitchell, who is a non-roster invitee, had a game offensively, going 3-for-3 with four RBIs and a solo home run. Brian Dozier also went 2-for-3 with two doubles. Oswaldo Arcia showed patience, as he walked two times, while Deibinson Romero also walked twice.
Reliever Casey Fien also bounced back from giving up a homer in his last appearance, as he struck out one in a scoreless inning.
Over in Sarasota, Worley fared well, as he threw three scoreless innings against Baltimore. Sean Gilmartin, Lester Oliveros and Logan Darnell also each threw a scoreless inning against the Orioles.
Prospect Max Kepler gave the Twins the lead in the ninth with an RBI single before Ramirez launched a three-run homer. Shortstop Danny Santana also hit two triples and had three RBIs. Top prospect Byron Buxton hit a ground-rule double for his first extra-base hit this spring.
What went wrong: Not much, considering the Twins scored a combined 21 runs and gave up a total of just four runs in their two wins.
Left-hander Brian Duensing served up a two-run homer to Edwin Encarnacion in their 12-2 win, but it was the only runs the Blue Jays would score.
Minnesota went just 3-for-17 with runners in scoring position against Toronto but it’s just nitpicking, as the Twins still scored 12 runs.
Over at Ed Smith Stadium, right-hander Trevor May gave up one run on thre hits over two innings while left-hander Aaron Thompson gave up one run on two hits in one inning of work. Thompson also made a fielding error.
What they said: “”The whole concept of this is, we want to get it right,” Steinbach said. “So as long as we can keep the pace, and it doesn’t slow it way down, I think it’s something that’s here and we’re going to make it work.” — Twins bench coach Terry Steinbach on expanded instant replay, which was used twice on Monday.
What’s next: The Twins hit the road on Tuesday, making the trip across the state to play the Marlins at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter. Right-hander Phil Hughes, who joined the club on a three-year, $24 million deal this offseason, is set to make his Twins debut. Right-handers Samuel Deduno, Ryan Pressly and Michael Tonkin are also on the list to pitch for the Twins.
Injury update: Shortstop Pedro Florimon has progressed to hitting off a tee, and hopes to take grounders soon but said there’s no timetable for his return. He could still be placed on the 15-day disabled list.