The Twins beat the Red Sox again on Sunday, getting a 7-2 win and an ace-like performance out of starter Sonny Gray, who pitched three no-hit innings with no walks and four strikeouts.
Gray and the Twins were backed by home runs from Ryan Jeffers, Willi Castro and Hernan Perez. It was the Twins’ second win over the Red Sox after they throttled them 11-0 last week.
Between the two Red Sox wins, however, it was kind of a mixed performance from the club. They were swept by the Atlanta Braves in split squad action, losing both games 9-4. They also had a rare come-from-behind win against the New York Yankees and struck out 17 times as a team versus the Toronto Blue Jays.
Oregon state man Trevor Larnach and Jose Miranda homered in the Atlanta series. Pitcher Bailey Ober made one more start, although he didn’t figure in the decision. He out-pitched Tyler Mahle this spring, but it is Ober who has been assigned to minor league camp, according to MLB.com.
Ober made four starts this spring and exits with an ERA of 2.70. Mahle has so far gone 1-2 with a 5.93 ERA.
Also joining Ober in the minors are pitchers Jose De Leon and Aaron Sanchez, who had a terrible spring. He went winless in four starts and racked up a 16.97 ERA. De Leon was shelled in the Atlanta series, giving up six hits and six runs, all earned, in less than an inning of work.
Extra innings …
-Pablo Lopez, the pitcher who came to the Twins from the Miami Marlins for defending American League batting champ Luis Arraez, has been named the opening day starter. Lopez gets the ball Thursday on the road at Kansas City.
-Reliever Griffin Jax has had a great spring. He hasn’t allowed an earned run in seven appearances and has struck out 12.
-The Twins’ home opener is April 6 against the Houston Astros, the defending World Series winners. In preparation for that game, the Twins may want to take a closer look at what Houston did to the Cardinals on Sunday.
The Astros beat them 24-1, a game that was capped with a 9-run eighth inning. Houston hit .500 with runners in scoring position, or 12-for-24.