Twins & Parmelee Hammer Phils' Halladay 6-4
Chris Parmelee (pictured) delivered a clutch hit against Philadelphia ace pitcher Roy Halladay on Wednesday, resulting in a 6-4 Minnesota Twins win. Parmelee played the whole game at first base, recording a walk and two hits, which included a three-run home run versus Halladay that gave the Twins a 5-4 lead. A number of impressive bullpen performances preserved the win.
Twins starting pitcher Jason Marquis gave up four runs in the first four innings on eight hits. But for the second of his first three starts, his infield defense was at least partly to blame. Several of the hits came on ground balls that were playable but slipped through the porous infield of Alexi Casilla, Tsuyoshi Nishioka and Sean Burroughs. Third baseman Burroughs, in particular, was victimized by hard grounders to his right that led to several runs.
The Twins did most of their damage in the third inning. Casilla and Denard Span each singled before Tsuyoshi Nishioka - curiously batting second in the lineup - struck out. (Incidentally, he also hit a pitch off his knee that traveled so far the Phillies' announcers couldn't imagine it actually hit his knee. There was a long stoppage of play, but he stayed in the game.)
Willingham looked like his hit was sawed off, but his grounder found it's way into right field while Casilla found his way to home plate. With runners on the corners, Justin Morneau (who played DH) popped out, but Parmelee delivered as Halladay approached his 60 pitch limit.
The lead was held by five relievers, and all except one added a strikeout to this spring's stat sheet. Jeff Manship pitched the fifth inning, recording two weak ground outs and a strikeout. Jeff Gray followed him, and while he didn't get a strikeout, he also didn't give up any hits. Sam Deduno, a 28-year-old minor league right-hander signed away from the Padres organization, demonstrated a nifty slider as well as a eratic fastball sure to strike fear in mascots throughout the International League. Casey Fien held things together in the eighth and Lester Oliveros got the save.