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  • Twins Top Tampa Thanks To Towles Tater

    I’m sure discussions were beginning about what would happen should this game need to go to extra innings. The Twins sent a split-squad roster to play the Rays, so there were only a certain number of pitchers available. That’s when catcher JR Towles stepped to the plate with a runner on in the top of the 9th. The #3-catcher hopeful hit a fly ball that, with the help of a strong wind, landed on the other side of the fence for a two-run homer that gave the Twins a 5-3 lead.


    Towles comes to the Twins as a minor league free agent. He had once been a top prospect in the Astros system and had a terrific showing as a rookie in 2007. In 44 plate appearances he hit .375. However, in the four years since, he has hit .137, .188, .191, and .184. The Astros had had enough. The Twins likely figured that wouldn’t be much worse than Drew Butera and maybe there is a chance he could return to some level of competency with a change of scenery.


    Rule 5 selection Terry Doyle made the start for the Twins. He went two innings and hit a batter in the first inning and issued a walk in the second inning. However, he gave up no runs and no hits. He also struck out one.

    Scott Diamond came in and gave up one run on three hits and a walk. He was helped by outfielder Joe Bensonwho threw out a runner at third base from right field in the inning. Luis Perdomo struck out two in his inning, but he also gave up a solo home run. PJ Walters walked three in two scoreless innings. Lester Oliveros pitched the seventh frame and gave up one run on two hits. Aaron Thompson pitched a perfect 8th inning. Casey Fien came in with the two-run ninth inning lead and threw a perfect inning for the save.

    Surprisingly, Alexi Casilla started the game at second base and played the whole game. He went 3-5 in the game with a stolen base. Trevor Plouffe was 2-3 with an RBI single before leaving the game. Chris Parmelee provided the big blow. In the top of the 6th, he gave the Twins a 3-2 lead with a long home run.

    The Twins improved to 2-0 against the Rays on the spring.
    This article was originally published in blog: Twins' Towles Towering Tater Tops Tampa 5-3 started by Seth Stohs
    Comments 10 Comments
    1. Teflon's Avatar
      Teflon -
      And on the other side of the coin for the Twins - Jason Bulger pitches one third of an inning vs. the Red Sox, walks 4 and then gives up a grand slam. Ouch.
    1. JB_Iowa's Avatar
      JB_Iowa -
      Thanks for the summary, Seth. All of a sudden it seems like there are so many games going on it is hard to keep track of who is doing what in them.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Teflon - That one has its own game report.
      JB - It was fun to follow today, listening to both broadcasts, watching both Gamedays, following both Twins Daily Forums... should be a fun season.
    1. Teflon's Avatar
      Teflon -
      The best alliteration in a Twins headline is still the Tribune's tongue-twisty "Twins Trip Tribe Twice." Solid effort by Seth, though.
    1. jimbo92107's Avatar
      jimbo92107 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Teflon View Post
      And on the other side of the coin for the Twins - Jason Bulger pitches one third of an inning vs. the Red Sox, walks 4 and then gives up a grand slam. Ouch.
      Of course, I just happened to tune into the game one minute before Bulger walked in a run, then gave up a grand slam.
      Gar, grump.
    1. SarasotaBill's Avatar
      SarasotaBill -
      Benson threw a bullet from deep left center to throw out Rhymes at 3rd. I was in the section near 3rd base.

      It wasn't Dinkleman.

      Parmelee can really rake.

      Parmelee, Casilla, Doyle, and Plouffe looked good.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      I lost the audio on the Tampa Bay broadcast, and saw Dinkelman was credited on Gameday... I thought it was weird since where they showed the ball would have been in Benson's area in CF.

      Thanks for the update from the location. Very much appreciated!
    1. Fanatic Jack's Avatar
      Fanatic Jack -
      I sure hope J.R. Towles beats out Drew Butera for the 3rdcatching spot on the 25-man roster.
    1. Jim H's Avatar
      Jim H -
      "I sure hope J.R. Towles beats out Drew Butera for the 3rdcatching spot on the 25-man roster."

      You know, Fanatic Jack, I disagree with you. I think the 3rd catcher will get like 1 start a week, if that. Let Towles play at AAA. If the Twins need a 1st or 2nd catcher later in the season, bring up Towles who has been getting consistent AB's to play regularly.

    1. Teflon's Avatar
      Teflon -
      Quote Originally Posted by Jim H View Post
      I think the 3rd catcher will get like 1 start a week, if that. Let Towles play at AAA. If the Twins need a 1st or 2nd catcher later in the season, bring up Towles who has been getting consistent AB's to play regularly.
      It's sort of the Ramos - Butera situation from a couple of years ago. Ramos, the better player, stays at AAA so he can play everyday while Butera gets to go to the show because he's presumably going to sit on the bench a lot. It's crazy, but if you were a catcher in the Twins system, you'd want to be the third best and not the second best. Maybe Butera is only pretending he can't hit so he can stay in the majors.
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