Twins 4, Red Sox 1: Homers Help in Twins Win
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins DailyHomer Bailey signed a one-year deal with the Twins around the holidays. On Friday, he made his first appearance of spring. He worked two innings. He didn’t allow a run.
He got two quick outs in the top of the first inning. JD Martinez hit a fly ball to right center. Bailey started walking off the field, thinking the inning was over. But the wind was blowing hard from left to right and the ball just kept going. LaMonte Wade leapt at the wall and robbed a home run. However, when his arm hit the wall, the ball trickled away. Martinez ended up on third base. But soon after, Bailey got a lazy fly ball to center for the third out.
“I was actually walking off the mound, thinking it was a right-center gap, guy’s going to catch it on the run, inning over. Then you look the flag pole you see everything was drifting off to right field quite a bit. Big deal.” He continued, “I say ‘Big Deal, but if the next guy gets a single, I’m (upset) about it.”
Max Kepler also played in his first game for the Twins this spring. He’s been dealing with what has been called a “minor back issue.” He led off and played right field. He went 0-for-2, but he hit the ball on the nose at least once.
Following the game, Baldelli said, “Max has been ready to go for a little while. He was happy - he was smiling - to be on the field. Hit a ball good, and made a couple of nice plays in the field, and we got him out of there.”
In the sixth inning, Alex Kirilloff entered the game for Kepler, and he hit a single in his first at-bat. He later scored on an Eddie Rosario double.
In the seventh inning, he came to the plate with Juan Graterol on first base.
The new father got a pitch to his liking. “I just got a fastball in and was able to time it up, get the barrel on it and get a good swing on it.”
Baldelli,”He's a pretty gifted young hitter. This is a guy that's always had good at- bats, can find the barrel on different pitches in the zone. He can do some pretty nifty things the way he attacks the ball. He would have what you probably call the opposite of a grooved swing. He can do different things, and find different angles, and find the barrel. So, he hit that one really well. We were just talking about him a little bit in the dugout right as he was taking the swing, and we saw it. Got a chance to see it live. Really nice.“
On Saturday night, the Pirates come to Hammond Stadium to play the Twins. Baldelli said that Kirilloff is scheduled to play against his hometown team. “That's always fun, anytime anyone gets a chance to play...and the game's probably on, really all the games are on TV now. For a while, it was when you played the team from the hometown, that's when everyone got a chance to see you play, everyone from back home. So that's always a fun thing.”
Nick Gordon Update
Nick Gordon is yet to play in spring training games. He is working and at the ballpark each day. He is experiencing a gastrointestinal issue again this spring. Baldelli said after the game, “I can’t tell you that it’s the exact same issue but the way that it’s probably affecting him is probably somewhat similar.”
“He’s been regaining strength and trying to gain some weight and start to feel better before he starts getting back to full baseball activities. So I can’t tell you that he’s fully there yet. We’re not pushing him to get him out on the field as fast as possible. It’s February. There’s no rush to really get him out there until he feels 100 percent and his body’s functioning right.”
It’s really unfortunate for Gordon because there is no doubt he would be getting a lot of playing time this spring.
Josh Donaldson Talking Shop
Josh Donaldson went 1-for-3 on Friday. It was his first hit of the spring. He hit a double to the right-center field gap. So if you were worried about him not ever getting a hit during his career with the Twins, you can sigh a deep breath.
Today was my first full day in Ft. Myers and at spring training, so I am last to this. However, what was really impressive to me, a half-hour after the game, we left the manager’s office and into the clubhouse. At a table, Donaldson was holding court with three Twins minor leaguers, talking hitting. Now I didn’t stand there and observe, but in the six seconds that I did see, all three players were glued to his every word.
- Dantes929, mikelink45, tarheeltwinsfan and 6 others like this