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Twins' Towles Towering Tater Tops Tampa 5-3

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Iím 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. Thatís 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 wouldnít 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.

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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 Brian Dinkelman who 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.

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