Tonight, the Twins play their first-ever regular-season game in Denver, taking on the Rockies. However, this isn't the first time they've experienced the flight of the ball at the mile-high altitude; the team has played exhibitions there at least twice before. Below, a look at these four end-of-spring-training games:
April 2, 1988: Twins 8, Toronto 2
The Twins were in Denver to play a quick two-game exhibition set at Mile High Stadium, and game one went quite well. Steve Carlton threw six strong innings for the win, giving up just two hits, one run, and no walks, while striking out six. Kent Hrbek homered and drove in three runs, as did Tom Brunansky, and the Twins put a five-spot on the board in the first inning and never looked back. Gary Gaetti also went deep, and Kirby Puckett tripled twice.
April 3, 1988: Toronto 11, Twins 4
Randy Bush earned the DH spot for the regular season with two homers, but the Twins got ripped anyway. Most of the team just wanted to get home before the season started on April 5. Said Jeff Reardon, "Spring training gets too darned long. You get sick of it after a while. Let's start doing it when it counts."
March 29, 1996: Twins 6, Colorado 2
Marty Cordova, coming off his Rookie of the Year campaign in 1995, had four hits and whacked his fourth home run of the spring, and Scott Stahoviak added three hits. Frank Rodriguez went five innings, striking out two and giving up just three hits and one unearned run for the win.
The real news, however: the day before, Kirby Puckett had awoken without vision in his right eye, the first sign of the glaucoma that would end his career. Matt Lawton played in Puckett's place, going 2-4 and driving in a run.
March 30, 1996: Colorado 4, Twins 3
LaTroy Hawkins ended a disappointing spring with another weak performance, walking five and giving up four runs in just three innings.
Two wins, two losses - and the opposing team scored more than four runs just once. Such a performance, the Twins might aspire to again this weekend.