#REPKO4MVP (copyright Nick Nelson)
The Minnesota Twins went into Friday on a relative pretend game roll, on the strength of an offense that has roared to life as the season draws near. And while the offense was still effective on Friday, the highlight of the day was provided by a starting pitcher in a game nobody heard or saw.
Liam Hendriks held the red-hot Toronto Blue Jays (22-4-1 heading into Friday) to zero runs and 1 hit in five innings as the Twins won at Dunedin 4-1. With Scott Baker set to start the season on the DL and Jason Marquis dealing with his family situation, Hendriks may have just made his case for going north with the team (John Shipley speculates that he'll make the April 8th start). The offensive stars of the game were alleged opening day first baseman Chris Parmelee, who had a solo dong, Aaron Hicks, who struck two doubles, and Ben Revere, who had an RBI triple.
Meanwhile, in the game you were able to hear on the radio, the Red Sox defeated the Twins 9-7. Positive signs: alleged opening day designated hitter Justin Morneau continued to MOUNTIE SMASH, with an RBI double that scored the game's first run, while Joe Mauer went 2-2 with a walk and an RBI and Estarlin de los Santos hit a pinch-hit 2-run homer to narrow the gap in the late innings. In addition, Nick Blackburn gave up a moonshot to Cody Ross, but those 2 runs were all he allowed over five innings and 86 pitches of work. The negative: both Jeff Gray and Brian Deunsing surrendered three ERs in their relief appearances.
Since there was no TV, we have been unable to confirm whether or not Nick Punto's jersey remained on, or if Jason Repko is on track to be Boston's stealth MVP. However, multiple sources have reported that Alexi Casilla is having an MRI on his right knee.
The next time we talk, there will be real baseball to discuss. I look forward to it. Enjoy your weekend, everybody.