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Twins 8, Phillies 4: Recap & Twins Roster Updates

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Recap

Nick Blackburn pitched decently today.  He spotted the Phillies to a 2-0 lead in the second when he ran into some trouble, but after four innings two runs was all Philadelphia was able to put across.  They collected six hits and a walk, but Blackburn did what he always does:  rely on the batters putting the ball in play, and on his defense to convert those balls into outs.  Blackburn struck out two, with his defense doing the rest.

The big story today was the offense, where nine different Twins landed at least one hit, and J.J. Hardy, who picked up his first two extra-base hits of the spring.  Michael Cuddyer, Joe Mauer and Juan Portes also added doubles, while Jim Thome's second tater as a Twin was a two-run shot in the eighth that put the lid on the contest.  Orlando Hudson was the final standout today, collecting a pair of singles and a walk in five plate appearances.

Sadlly, Delmon Young had a bad day.  He did go 1-for-2 with a walk, but he also made two outs on the bases--Cole Hamles picked him off first, and Delmon was also caught running.

Roster Updates

Joe Christensen made a couple of Twitter updates this afternoon, reference in the FanShot below.  Here's the run-down...

Jacque Jones:  Re-assigned to AAA.  But apparently he'll still play in the exhibition games at Target Field.  This effectively puts to rest my Viva Jacque speculation from this morning.

Anthony Slama:  Re-assigned to AAA.  Not much of a surprise, but it definitely narrows the field for those final bullpen spots.

Mike Maroth, Ben Revere, Danny Lehmann:  Assigned to minor league camp.  Revere was 1-for-1 today, raising his spring average to .326.

Matt Tolbert:  Optioned to AAA.

As TwinsTerritory mentions, this assures Alexi Casilla of that final bench spot as both Jones and Tolbert are out.  Meanwhile, there's still some debate left over the remaining bullpen spots and the backup catcher competition.  For more on that, don't miss Cmathewson's post below.

Merit Badges
J.J. Hardy  (2-for-4, 2B, 3B, RBI, R)
Orlando Hudson  (2-for-3, 2 R, BB)
Joe Mauer  (2-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI)
Michael Cuddyer  (1-for-3, 2B, 2 RBI)
Jim Thome  (1-for-4, HR, 2 RBI, R)
Juan Portes  (1-for-1, 2B, RBI, R)
Anthony Slama  (0.2 IP, BB)
Kyle Waldrop  (1 IP, H)

Tough Game
Delmon Young  (1-for-2, BB, PO, CS)
Nick Punto  (0-for-3, K)
Mike Maroth  (2.1 IP, 3 K, 2 BB, 2 H, R)