March 1, 2021

I will not read too much into spring training, I will not read too much into spring training, I will not…

The Twins knocked off the Boston Red Sox on Sunday, a 7-6 win in Game 1 of Grapefruit League action that means the club is well on its way to winning a World Series. Yes, it’s spring training. I will try to restrain myself.

The Twins scored seven runs on six hits, with most of those runs coming early in the seven-inning contest. Max Kepler and Jorge Polanco had RBI hits and Miguel Sano knocked in two on a double, the only extra-base hit for the Twins on Sunday.

Starter Devin Smeltzer allowed a run (a home run) over two innings, but didn’t figure in the decision. Newcomers Hansel Robles and Ian Hamilton pitched scoreless frames and Taylor Rogers looked like his old self, striking out the side on 19 pitches. But relievers Tyler Duffey and Cody Stashak made things interesting.

They combined to allow five earned runs. Duffey served up two home runs and Stashak was tagged with the blown save, although he would eventually be credited with the win. Hamilton picked up the first save of spring.

Catcher Mitch Garver also had a hit and a walk, which is good to see after the season he had in 2020. Garver was a breakout star in 2019, hitting 31 home runs and slashing .273/.365/.630. But he also fell to earth hard last season and hit only .167. He also struck out 37 times in 72 at bats, or more than 50 percent of the time. He needs a big season in 2021.

Extra innings…

-Shortstop Royce Lewis, a former No. 1 draft pick by the Twins in 2017, has torn his ACL and will likely miss the rest of the season. I’m not sure Lewis would have made the club, but it’s good to know the team has depth at that position in Andrelton Simmons, Polanco and possibly Luis Arraez.

-Fan favorite Willians Astudillo also had a hit on Sunday.

-This week the Twins play the Tampa Bay Rays, Atlanta Braves and the Red Sox.


Hi, I’m Rolf Boone, Twins fan.

I became a fan of the Minnesota Twins after a friendly wager in the early 1980s. I survived Ron Davis, the meltdown in Cleveland, Phil Bradley at the Kingdome and then marveled at a rising generation of stars and two World Series wins in 1987 and 1991. Brad Radke made the 1990s bearable, while Kirby Puckett’s eye injury, exit from the game and eventual death made it almost too much to bear. The new century ushered in more talent — Joe Mauer, Johan Santana, Joe Nathan, Torii Hunter, Justin Morneau — and consecutive seasons of playoff baseball, followed by consecutive seasons of losing baseball. A winning season returned in 2015. So here we are. Go Twins.