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Twins Beat Rays 7-3 In Spring Training Opener

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Not a bad way to start the spring training schedule, huh? After giving up two early runs, the Twins scored seven in a row to take their first official game in March.

Carl Pavano started for the Twins and did surrender a 2-run homer in the first inning to Rays DH Matt Joyce. After that, though, the pitching staff shut down the Rays, as they only mustered a single run in the final 8 innings. Meanwhile, the Twins offense scored in five separate innings, four of which had only a single run notched. Are the Piranhas back? Nick Punto, is that you? Oh never mind, it's just Nishi.

Game notes:

  • Extra base hits went to Danny Valencia and Ryan Doumit (a double apiece) and Tsuyoshi Nishioka, who tripled to deep center field. Looks like the world really is ending if Nishioka is hitting the ball to the fence.
  • RBI singles were tallied by Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, Mike Hollimon, and Chris Herrmann. I told you the Twins just chipped away at the Rays.
  • Count me as one person that wasn't pleased when the Twins claimed LHP Matt Maloney off waivers from the Cincinnati Reds, but he definitely impressed today by striking out the side in his one inning of work.
  • Encouraging sign for the Twins: No walks allowed by the pitching staff in today's game.

The Battle for Squatter's Rights, a.k.a. The Third Catcher Race (Ordered by likelihood of winning, in my opinion)

Drew Butera - Played today, went 0-2 and left 3 runners on base

J.R. Towles - Did not play today, played in 'B' game on Thursday and had an RBI single

Today's Dark Horse, Chris Herrmann - RBI single in his only at-bat, came on in relief of Butera

Studs

The guys I named above that had extra base hits and RBI singles. Also Brian Dinkelman, because everyone loves Dinkelman.

Duds

Even a baserunning gaffe by Chris Parmelee in the bottom of the 8th isn't enough to call him a dud today.