February 26, 2024

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

Two spring training games are in the books and the Twins have emerged with a 1-1 record in early Grapefruit League play.

The Twins lost on Sunday 8-6 to the Boston Red Sox, but kicked things off Saturday with a 5-3 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

It appeared the Twins were on the verge of suffering a major blowout loss on Sunday, losing 6-0 through six innings. But then they rallied for six runs in the seventh to tie the game. The rally was less about the Twins but more about Red Sox goofs as the club took advantage of three walks, a hit batter and an error to even the score before finally losing by two runs.

Some familiar Twins names got into the act: Alex Kirilloff had an extra-base hit, Oregon State man Trevor Larnach had two hits, including a double, and Niko Goodrum, a former Twins prospect who spent the past five seasons with the Tigers and Astros, also delivered a two-base hit.

On the mound, Bailey Ober allowed four runs, but none of them were earned because of an error behind him. He exited with his 0.00 ERA intact. Relievers Kody Funderburk and Jordan Balazovic made scoreless appearances while newcomer Jay Jackson allowed a run on two hits with a walk and a whiff.

On Saturday, the Twins and Bucs rode a 2-2 tie into the bottom of the sixth inning when Twins prospect Dalton Shuffield crushed a three-run home run.

Minnesota native Louie Varland gave the club two scoreless innings, and then the ball was handed to reliever Justin Topa, who came to the Twins in the deal that sent Jorge Polanco to Seattle. Topa stuck out two batters, but also allowed two runs on three hits.

Free agent Carlos Santana, Max Kepler, Eddie Julien and Willi Castro had five of the Twins’ 10 hits in the win.

Extra innings…

-Up next for the Twins, the New York Yankees. Simeon Woods Richardson gets the ball for Minnesota on Monday. He along with Austin Martin came to the Twins in the deal that sent pitcher Jose Berrios to the Blue Jays. Martin had a hit and drove in a run in Saturday’s win.

COMMENTS

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.