Minnesota Twins Knock Off the Nationals 5-2
Twins Gain First Win of Spring, New Catcher Castro Goes Deep
That loud, cracking noise you heard was the Twins breaking into the win column Sunday against the Washington Nationals. After suffering through a series of long losing streaks last season, it was nice for Minnesota to nip this streak at just two losses.
The other crack came off the bat of newly acquired catcher, Jason Castro, as he homered in a four-run second inning to give the Twins a lead that they would not relinquish. Trevor May made his first start of the Spring in his quest to make the starting rotation.
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May staked his claim with 1.2 innings, throwing 31 pitches. This first week, Twins’ coaches are limiting pitchers to 30 pitches. His first inning was shaky, throwing 12 strikes and 12 balls, walking two consecutive batters to load the bases with two outs.
But he notched an important strikeout to wiggle out of the early jam. He had a less eventful second inning, but still struggled to throw strikes.
He ended the day with 31 pitches (16 strikes), allowing just a two-out single in the first inning. Those two walks, one strikeout, and an impressive four ground ball outs.
While he struggled to throw strikes, he did light up the radar gun – occasionally hitting 95-96. Tomorrow, look for the presumed Opening Day starter, Ervin Santana, to get his first start against the Miami Marlins.
Aside from May’s start, Jose Berrios threw two innings, giving up one run. He allowed a single to the first batter he faced, Michael Taylor, and then didn’t keep Taylor close as he swiped second. Two ground outs later, and the Nationals had their first run.
In his two innings of work, Berrios was efficient. He allowed a lead-off hit in the third, followed by three straight ground outs. Then after a lead-off walk in the fourth, he recorded another ground out, followed by two swinging strikeouts to end his day.
The pitcher that impressed the most, however, was highly touted prospect, Fernando Romero. Our *spoiler alert* fourth-ranked prospect ended last season on a 20+ inning scoreless streak pitching for Advanced-A Ft. Myers.
This coming off a missed season the previous year as he recovered from Tommy John surgery. Today, Romero touched 98 on the gun with his fastball, and dropping 10 mph off his slider.
Romero struck out the first two batters he faced, before giving up a walk. He punctuated his outing getting Rafael Bautista to weakly pop out to Danny Santana at second base:
Video courtesy of Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
Byron Buxton smacked his second double of the Spring, and in his second at-bat got a stolen base after getting picked off first base. He scored the final run of the second inning as the next batter, Jorge Polanco, followed with a single.
Polanco was also picked off, but unable to out-run the throw to second base, as Buxton did, to end the outburst. Brian Dozier made his Grapefruit League debut, getting a hit and striking out twice.
The Twins’ four catchers split duties between DH and catcher. The four combined to go 4-7, with two runs scored and two RBI.
Next: Twins Start Off Spring With Two Losses
Up Next: Twins remain in Ft. Myers to host the Miami Marlins. First pitch at Hammond Stadium is 12:05 PM. Ervin Santana will get the start.