Results tagged ‘ Trevor Plouffe ’

Game 11: Hughes gives Twins the win in extras

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. — Carl Pavano had his best outing of the spring, and Luke Hughes hit a solo homer in the 10th inning to help lead the Twins to a 2-1 win over the Rays at Charlotte Sports Park.

With their third straight win, the Twins improved to 6-5 on the season. They host the split-squad Blue Jays on Tuesday at Hammond Stadium.

What went right: Pavano looked sharp against the Rays in his third Grapefruit League start, surrendering one run on four hits over four innings. He got ahead of hitters, as he threw first-pitch strikes to 12 of the 15 batters he faced.

Pavano, who threw 60 pitches, gave up his lone run on a single from Desmond Jennings after a double from Jose Lobaton. He also worked well with catcher Ryan Doumit, who threw out two attempting base stealers. The only misplay was when Jennings stole second despite a pitchout from Pavano, as the throw from Doumit sailed high.

Hughes also showed he’s progressing well in his recovery from a strained right shoulder suffered in a home-plate collision in his native Australia in early February. He played all 10 innings at second base, and went 2-for-4 at the plate, including the game-winning homer in the 10th off right-hander Albert Suarez.

“I think that’s a big lift for him,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “He’s been fighting through it because of the shoulder thing. He’s been set back a ways, so that’s a big deal for him hitting that homer.”

Shortstop Brian Dozier also had a good day at the plate, going 2-for-4 with a walk. He was robbed of a homer by the umpires in the first inning, when his deep drive hit the wooden deck above the left-field fence but it was ruled in-play. He settled for a triple off Tampa Bay’s projected Opening Day starter James Shields.

The bullpen also continued to impress, as Glen Perkins, Phil Dumatrait, Jason Bulger, Liam Hendriks, Tyler Robertson and Daryl Thompson each threw a scoreless frame. It was good to see Bulger get through an inning, as he entered the game with an 81.00 ERA.

What went wrong: It might be nitpicking in a win, but the offense didn’t exactly light up the scoreboard with two runs in 10 innings.

Joe Mauer, serving as designated hitter while playing in his first road game, went 0-for-2 with a walk and is batting .200 this spring. Trevor Plouffe went 0-for-4 with a strikeout to see his batting average drop to .118.

But the defense was solid yet again — outside of the botched pitchout — and the Twins have pitched well over their last five games.

What they said: “He got the ball and asked me if I’d sign it for him,” Gardenhire said about Bulger’s scoreless inning. “He said, ‘That’s the first time all spring you haven’t taken it from me.’ That’s entertainment.”

What’s next: Left-hander Francisco Liriano is set to make his third Grapefruit League start on Tuesday against the split-squad Blue Jays at 12:05 p.m. CT at Hammond Stadium. Lirano has yet to give up a run over five innings in Spring Training. Jared Burton, Matt Maloney and Sam Deduno are also scheduled to pitch for the Twins. Left-hander Brett Cecil starts for Toronto.

Injury update: Center fielder Denard Span stayed back at the club’s Spring Training complex on Monday to take some swings in the cage and see a chiropractor after missing Sunday’s game with neck stiffness. Span, who said the injury is not related to the concussion-like symptoms that plagued him last year, could return to the lineup on Tuesday. … Infielder Tsuyoshi Nishioka missed Monday’s game with a sprained left pinkie, and remains day to day.

Games 2/3: Twins earn split vs. Rays, Red Sox

FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Twins split Sunday’s games with a 5-3 win over the Rays in Port Charlotte and an 8-3 loss to the Red Sox in Fort Myers.

It marked the Twins’ first split-squad action of the spring, as they don’t play in any more split-squads until March 16, when they host the Orioles and travel to face the Red Sox.

What went right: Both starters for the Twins — Francisco Liriano and Terry Doyle — tossed two scoreless innings in their Grapefruit League debuts. Liriano allowed one hit and walked one with two strikeouts against the Red Sox. And Doyle didn’t allow a hit and walked one with a strikeout against the Rays.

First baseman Chris Parmelee and catcher J.R. Towles both hit two-run homers to help lead the Twins to their win over the Rays at Charlotte Sports Park. Alexi Casilla went 3-for-5 and Trevor Plouffe went 2-for-3 in that game.

Ben Revere paced the offense at JetBlue Park, going 2-for-4 with two RBIs, including a leadoff single against Josh Beckett. Ray Chang went 1-for-1 with two walks, but left the 8-3 loss early after taking a knee the jaw in the seventh inning while trying to break up a double play.

What went wrong: Jason Bulger, who is trying to make the club as a reliever, struggled mightily against the Red Sox, allowing five runs on four walks and two hits — including a Lars Anderson grand slam — while recording just one out.

The Twins made several sloppy plays against the Red Sox, including an error by third baseman Sean Burroughs and an ill-advised throw home on the same play by Tsuyoshi Nishioka. Revere also made a baserunning gaffe late in the game.

What they said: “The first batter I was kind of all over the place but after that I kind of made some adjustments,” said Liriano, who threw 13 of his 25 pitches for strikes. “I was throwing the ball down and working the fastball better.”

What’s next: The Twins play their first and only night game of the spring on Monday, as they play host to the Red Sox at Hammond Stadium at 6:05 p.m. CT in a game that will be televised on FS North. Right-hander Jason Marquis is set to make his Grapefruit League debut with the Twins against Red Sox right-hander Clay Buhholz. Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, Denard Span, Ryan Doumit and Josh Willingham — who didn’t play on Sunday — are expected to return to action Monday night.

Injury update: Right-hander Joel Zumaya elected to undergo Tommy John surgery later this month, according to assistant general manager Rob Antony. He hasn’t decided if he will rehab on his own or with the Twins. … Infielder Luke Hughes (strained right shoulder) made his Grapefruit League debut against the Red Sox, going 0-for-3 as a designated hitter. He also took infield practice and threw to first base without any issues. … Infielder Ray Chang took a knee to the jaw trying to break up a double play, but said after the game he was OK.

Day 7: Zumaya’s injury dampens day

FORT MYERS, Fla. — It was supposed to be just another day of full workouts at the Lee County Sports Complex, but it all changed after just 13 pitches from right-hander Joel Zumaya.

Zumaya, throwing live batting practice for the first time this spring, felt discomfort in his right elbow and cut his throwing session short.

He’s scheduled to have an MRI tomorrow morning, and we should get the results by tomorrow night or Monday morning, according to Twins general manager Terry Ryan.

The Twins are hopeful he just broke up some scar tissue — similar to what Joe Nathan experienced last year before he came back even stronger after a stint on the DL — but considering his injury history, there’s a reason to be concerned. Worst-case, Zumaya will need Tommy John surgery, which he’s never had done despite his lengthy list of injuries.

Speaking of Tommy John surgery, Twins GM Terry Ryan shared some positive news about prospect Kyle Gibson, who had the surgery done on Sept. 7. Ryan said he expects Gibson to be back in action this summer, which means he’s recovering at a good rate considering most pitchers need about 12 months to come back after the surgery.

“He’ll pitch this summer,” Ryan said. “I think we anticipate him pitching this summer. In fact, I don’t think, I know. It’s not anything different than the schedule.”

Other notes from today:
- The Twins are trying to get Ben Revere to bunt more this year, as he squared up to bunt just 15 times last year in 481 plate appearances, recording four hits and three sacrifices. He’s been working with Jerry White and Rod Carew to improve his technique.

- Former shortstop Trevor Plouffe is working out with the outfielders, as he prepares to become the club’s fourth outfielder. He’ll also get some work in the infield soon, but the Twins are more worried about getting him comfortable as a corner outfielder.

- Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he’s impressed by Danny Valencia so far in camp, as he worked hard to improve his fielding. “He’s way better,” Gardenhire said. “He’s bent over, he’s going to the ball low. As he told me, that was an adjustment. That was a big adjustment for him, because he’s so used to standing up and going after a ball and having to go all the way back down to the ground.”

- Ryan praised both catcher J.R. Towles and infielder/outfielder Steve Pearce, as they were both former top prospects with the Astros and Pirates, respectively, before signing Minor League deals with the Twins this offseason. Towles will get a fair shake to battle Butera for the third catcher spot, while Pearce will get a shot as a utility player who could see time at first base, outfield and third base.

- Alexi Casilla is bothered by a sore calf, but has been participating in the workouts with no problems. Luke Hughes, who has a strained right shoulder, still can’t throw yet, but has been fielding grounders all over the infield.

Here’s video of Zumaya throwing to Justin Morneau shortly before his injury.

And here’s photos from today’s workouts, including of Zumaya before his injury:

Casilla to the DL (Game 105 vs. Texas)

ARLINGTON — The Twins received a blow to their middle infield today, as second baseman Alexi Casilla was diagnosed with a Grade 1 hamstring strain, and is expected to be out for two to three weeks, according to head trainer Rick McWane.

Casilla, who injured himself while legging out a double in the ninth inning of Wednesday’s 7-2 win against the Rangers, is scheduled to be placed on the disabled list after tonight’s game. Infielder Luke Hughes is expected to be recalled in his place.

Additionally, to bolster their middle infield depth, the Twins recalled second baseman Matt Tolbert from Triple-A Rochester, and optioned left-hander Chuck James to Rochester to give the Twins 12 pitchers on their active roster.

“He’s our second-hole hitter and was swinging great and playing great defense,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said of Casilla. “He’s doing all the things you’d like to see, and his head has been in the game. And then all of a sudden this happens. Our depth in the middle infield isn’t the greatest, so you can’t afford too many injuries like that. Some people will have to step up.”

Casilla, who was hitting .259/.322/.369 with 15 stolen bases and a team-high 21 doubles in 96 games this season, said he’s hopeful that he can return to action as soon as he’s eligible to be activated from the disabled list on Aug. 12.

“It’s pretty much the same as yesterday,” Casilla said. “I kind of pulled it a little bit, so I’m going on the DL and going back to Minnesota to take care of it over there. I don’t think I’ll need a [rehab] assignment. I’ll be ready in 15 days. … I hope they don’t send me on an assignment. I’ll say no because it’s too much time.”

In the meantime, the Twins will have to rely on a combination of Tolbert, Hughes and Trevor Plouffe at second base with Casilla out of action.

Tolbert, who hit .181 in 55 games with the Twins before being optioned on July 18, started at second base against the Rangers on Thursday.

And shortstop Tsuyoshi Nishioka is expected to bat second in Casilla’s absence, as Gardenhire said he’s hopeful he can handle the bat the way Casilla did in the two-hole.

“I’m hoping Nishi handles it very well,” Gardenhire said. “When we signed him, we were hoping he’d be at the top of the lineup. So maybe this will get his confidence going a little bit.”

Memorial Day: Twins vs. Tigers (Game 52)

Designated hitter Jim Thome, who had a cortisone shot in his left shoulder after Saturday’s game, returns to the lineup today against the Tigers and is batting sixth after sitting out on Sunday.

With Thome back in there, Michael Cuddyer moves to second base and Alexi Casilla goes back to shortstop with Trevor Plouffe on the bench after airmailing two throws in Sunday’s 6-5 loss to the Angels. The Twins are hoping Casilla continues to swing a hot bat — he’s hitting .529 (9-for-17) with three doubles and a triple over his last five games — and that it carries over on the road, as he’s hitting just .160/.232/.240 away from Target Field this year.

Here are the lineups for the 12:10 p.m. CT start against the Tigers at Comerica Park:

Twins (17-34)

1. Denard Span, CF
2. Alexi Casilla, SS
3. Jason Kubel, RF
4. Justin Morneau, 1B
5. Michael Cuddyer, 2B
6. Jim Thome, DH
7. Delmon Young, LF
8. Danny Valencia, 3B
9. Rene Rivera, C

RHP Nick Blackburn (4-4, 3.20 ERA, 1.75 K/BB, 4.41 FIP)

Tigers (26-26)

1. Austin Jackson, CF
2. Andy Dirks, LF
3. Brennan Boesch, RF
4. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
5. Victor Martinez, DH
6. Jhonny Perlata, SS
7. Alex Avila, C
8. Ryan Raburn, 2B
9. Brandon Inge, 3B

RHP Brad Penny (4-4, 4.45 ERA, 1.23 K/BB, 4.49 FIP)

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