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Twins 9, Rays 4: Justin Haley a little shaky in first spring start

Luckily, Niko Goodrum hit a three-run dinger and everyone else besides Haley looked pretty good for the Twins today.

MLB: Spring Training-Minnesota Twins at Baltimore Orioles
FYI: This is Niko Goodrum, not Justin Haley.
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Twins were able to get nine runs on twelve hits and some decent pitching today as they cruised to their eleventh win of the spring (ninth in the grapefruit league).

Rule 5 draft pick Justin Haley, making his case for the fifth spot in the rotation, started the game and didn’t exactly look spectacular over his two innings of work. The lead-off batter Mallex Smith (excellent name) reached first on a bunt (rude), second on a botched pick-off attempt (ugh), third on a fly-out by Tim Beckham (come on), and home on a sac-fly (seriously?). Haley also gave up a two-run home run in the second inning to put the Rays up 3-0.

Luckily, Niko Goodrum tied it up in the bottom of the inning with a three-run bomb off Jose De Leon. As you may remember, De Leon was the pitching prospect the Dodgers wanted to trade to the Twins for Brian Dozier, but ended up trading him to the Rays for Logan Forsythe instead. Hence, I think it’s fair and reasonable to say WE WON THE DE LEON TRADE SUCK IT DODGERS/RAYS!

The Twins went on to score six more runs in the game. Three of the runs came in the fifth inning, which saw a Danny Santana lead-off triple and Bengie Gonzales RBI double. In the seventh inning, Ben Paulsen got an RBI hit with the bases loaded to score two runs, though it was assisted with an error by the Rays. Mitch Garver came into the game later on and hit a double and scored a run. Joe Mauer went 1-for-3 and had his first RBI of the spring.

As for Twins pitching—it was pretty good today, aside from Haley. J.T. Chargois was throwing hard, striking out two batters in his one inning. Buddy Boshers threw a perfect inning. Michael Tonkin, Ryan O’Rourke, and Randy Rosario each had scoreless innings too. The only pitcher besides Haley to give up a run was Alex Wimmers (sad trombone).


  • Ervin Santana officially decided to leave camp to pitch for the Dominican Republic in the WBC on Tuesday.
  • Danny Gladden, always the voice of reason, argued during the game that the Twins don’t even really need a fifth starter in the rotation.
  • Leonardo Reginatto made a great diving play at shortstop and Matt Hauge was able to scoop out the throw to first for the out.
  • Felix Jorge and Randy Rosario were reassigned to minor league camp after the game.