FORT MYERS, FLA. - Twins righthander Liam Hendriks now has an outing he can take off from after pitching three scoreless innings on Thursday during the Twins' 7-1 win over Baltimore.
Hendriks gave up a run in two innings in his first outing of the spring and said he felt much better on Thursday. It showed, as he was around the plate and used all of his pitches.
"He rushed a couple pitches here and there but settled back in,'' manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Got his breaking ball where he wanted to. His pace was a lot better. The big thing with him is pace. When he starts slowing down in games, it is no fun.''
Twins hitters got their licks in against Orioles starter Jair Jurrjens, whom they talked about signing as a free agent during the offseason. Jurrjens labored through the first inning, walking three and giving up two hits. One hit was a bases-clearing double by Justin Morneau -- the last run scoring on an error -- that gave the Twins a 3-0 lead.
Hendriks, in the running for the starting rotation, finished up with two solid innings.
"My command was definitely a lot better,'' Hendriks said while comparing his first two outings. "Fastballs in, fastballs away. It was only the second start of spring, but the off-speed stuff was working tonight.''
Morneau, Darin Mastroianni, Joe Mauer and Josh Willingham each had two hits. Morneau ended up with three RBI as the Twins won for the fourth straight time.
LA VELLE E. NEAL III