Nolasco gets in his work despite rain

– Ricky Nolasco has sat out plenty of Florida rain delays, given his six seasons pitching for the Florida/Miami Marlins, so he knows how to deal with a storm: You get your work in any way you can.

That's why when his start against the Cardinals was called off on Thursday, Nolasco grabbed pitching coach Rick Anderson, a catcher and a couple of volunteers with bats, and headed for the bullpen. His scheduled three innings of work took place despite the weather, in a simulated game.

"This is all about building up pitch count and arm strength. I was able to get a little more adrenaline and [arm] extension than I thought," Nolasco said of his 40-minute outing, broken up into three 20-pitch "innings" with breaks in between, under the bleachers.

Anderson called balls and strikes to each hitter, and Nolasco mixed up his pitches as he would in a game.

"The effort is the big thing," he said. "It's tough to get going, but I thought I did a good job of getting a lot out of it."

Washed out

With the Cardinals in town, the Twins were expecting a full house at Hammond Stadium on Thursday, so they were reluctant to call off the game. But when a driving rainstorm created large puddles on the turf, and forecasts predicted no letup for several hours, the game was canceled about an hour after the scheduled start.

Fans who wish to exchange their tickets for another game must do so by March 20 at the stadium box office. Those who prefer a refund can do so by writing to the Twins ticket office (spring training rainout), 1 Twins Way, Minneapolis, MN 55403. Those who paid cash must enclose the tickets along with name, address and a daytime phone number; those who paid using a credit card need not include the tickets.

It's only the fifth spring training rainout for the Twins over the past 10 seasons. Four of those have occurred at Hammond Stadium.

Hurting outfielders

Oswaldo Arcia was shivering from a fever before the game, so the Twins scratched him from the lineup and sent him home. And fellow second-year outfielder Aaron Hicks felt some minor discomfort in his right elbow while taking extra batting practice, so he was given the day off as a precaution.

"This is stuff you get in spring training," Hicks said. "I'll do some stuff [Friday]."

Neither is considered serious, though neither is scheduled to play Friday, either.

On deck

The Twins have two games at Bradenton against the Pirates. Vance Worley is scheduled to start the regularly scheduled game at noon Central. The Pirates will counter with lefthander Wandy Rodriguez. There is also a B game at 9 a.m. Former Pirates righthander Kevin Correia will start for the Twins, opposite young Pittsburgh righthander Gerrit Cole.

Phil MIller and La Velle E. Neal III