FORT MYERS, FLA. – Ron Gardenhire believes lefthanded-hitting Chris Parmelee can be a threat against lefthanded pitching, even if the outfielder so far hasn’t shown it. In his first at-bat against a lefty this spring, Parmelee provided Gardenhire with more evidence.
Parmelee smacked a 1-0 slider from former Twins reliever Jose Mijares four rows deep into the right-field stands Saturday, a three-run homer that powered the Twins to a 6-2 victory over Boston in the spring training home opener at Hammond Stadium.
“A big shebop by Parm-dog,” Gardenhire said. “He stays in on lefties. I don’t worry about him against lefties because he hangs in there pretty decent on them. When he’s swinging good, he hangs in there really nice.”
Parmelee was a .260 hitter against lefthanders in his brief stays with the Twins in 2011 and ’12, but was terrible against them last year, batting .172.
For the second consecutive day, the Twins beat their Fort Myers rivals with pitching, this time holding the Red Sox to only six hits. Scott Diamond gave up a Daniel Nava home run onto the new left-field berm in the first inning, and Ryan Pressly gave up an RBI single by Jonathan Herrera in the third, but Boston never advanced a runner to third base after that.
“The Nava home run, those are going to happen,” Diamond, in a six-way battle to be the Twins’ fifth starter, shrugged after his two-inning spring debut. “The walk [to Daniel Carp], that’s what I’m most upset about. Four pitches, that’s never what you want. But I attacked them for the rest of the inning and was able to get out, scot-free. I’m happy with how it went, but there’s definitely a lot of adjustments I need to make.”
Joe Mauer singled home Brian Dozier in his first at-bat of the spring, and Trevor Plouffe drew a bases-loaded walk. Dozier and Josh Willingham each chipped in a double.