This past weekend, the Twins split their contests in Grapefruit League action. Playing at Jet Blue Park on Saturday against the cross town Boston Red Sox, and then hosting the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday, there was plenty of things to take in. Despite the results, a few of the storylines definitely led the way.
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Saturday, Twins ace Phil Hughes got his first work of the spring campaign. In an inning of work, he pitched around three hits and a walk to end the frame scoreless. Although not as sharp as he would have liked to be in his first time out, it’s a good building block going forward. Hughes understands he doesn’t need to tote the strikeout to walk ratio of a season ago, and he could end up pitching even better in the upcoming season.
Mike Pelfrey also got his first work of the Grapefruit League season on Saturday. Pitching two innings in relief against the Red Sox, three hits turned into one earned run. Pelfrey isn’t scheduled in as a probable starter at this point for the Twins, and seeing him have success out of the bullpen may be some foreshadowing for the season to come.
Against the Red Sox, the Twins offense seemed to struggled despite the slugfest the two teams played in earlier in the week. Outhit 16 to 4, Minnesota dropped Saturday’s contest by a score of 4-2.
On Sunday, the Twins faced the often wildly-effective Ubaldo Jimenez and the Baltimore Orioles. The narrative on Jimenez was much of the same as he struck out five while walking three and giving up a run in just over two innings of work. Ervin Santana got the start for the Twins, and the offseason acquisition looked extremely sharp. Tallying three strikeouts while giving up only two hits over two innings of work, Santana had to be pleased with his first outing of the spring.
Jose Berrios got his first action of the spring in three relief innings following Santana. Much like he did against the Gophers in the exhibition game, Berrios looked the part of a major leaguer. His three innings were highlighted by two strikeouts against only three hits. A run did cross the plate but was unearned due to a throwing error by third basemen, Miguel Sano.
The Twins drove in two runs off of the bats of Joe Mauer and Eduardo Escobar. That was all they would need in the contest as Minnesota native, Mark Hamburger, would come in and slam the door on the Orioles with the Twins taking the game by a score of 2-1.
Today Minnesota travels to face the Pittsburgh Pirates in their “A” game of the day.