Valencia Vaults Twins Past Pirates
by, 03-10-2012 at 08:15 PM (939 Views)
It's no secret that the Twins have really struggled offensively to this point in spring training. That remained the case on Saturday when, in this sixth inning, the Twins were down 2-1 to the Pirates. Valencia stepped to the plate with two runners on and uncorked a long home run to give the Twins a 4-2 lead. The bullpen held the lead and the Twins got the win.
For Valencia, it was his first home of the spring. For the Twins, it was just their third spring home run (Chris Parmelee and JR Towles had the other two). In his previous at bat, Valencia had ripped a double to the right center field gap. On the day, the Twins managed just four other hits.
Terry Doyle got hit pretty hard by the Pirates. In 2.2 innings, he gave up two runs on seven hits and a walk. He was aided by a popped up bunt and a runner caught stealing on a pitch-out.
He was helped by another terrific performance by the bullpen. Anthony Swarzak got the final out of the third inning and pitched a scoreless fourth frame. Jared Burton, Matt Maloney, Kyle Waldrop, Lester Oliveros and PJ Walters each threw a scoreless inning.
Earlier in the day, the Twins and Pirates played a "B" game. Scott Baker was to start, but he was unable to get loose on time, so Jeff Gray pitched the first inning. Then Alex Burnett pitched the second. Baker finally pitched in the 3rd. He was able to record just one out before the inning was called. He pitched a second inning and struggled. In all, he gave up six runs in 1.1 innings. Following the outing, Baker said his elbow was fine, he just couldn't get the ball down. Oswaldo Arcia hit a long, opposite field home run. Chris Parmelee hit two doubles.