Well the Twins raced out to a 10-1 lead thanks to the homer cycle - a solo, two-run, three-run and grand slam - in order. Just when it was time to sing the praises of the offense. the game got close - and long before Blaine Boyer came on to stop a rally in the eighth then pitched the ninth. Twins win 10-9, here are some observations:
Tim Stauffer's fastball averaged 90.6 miles an hour last season, according to the website fangraphs.com. But the pitch has come in around the mid-80's so far in camp.
The Twins did some checking and found out that is how Stauffer progresses during spring training.
``He's got a track record, so we will wait,'' Twins General Manager Terry Ryan said. ``It's not like we have to make a decision tomorrow.''
Maybe not that decision, but the one in which Stauffer is removed from contention for the No. 5 starters role.
Stauffer, who has given up 10 runs over six innings on 10 runs, 16 hits and four walks, could be shifted to the bullpen this week. Twins manager Paul Molitor said he and pitching coach Neil Allen will try to meet with Stauffer soon.
``That will probably take place (Wednesday),'' Molitor said.
Stauffer, who signed with the Twins as a free agent for $2.2 million during the offseason, was given a chance to earn a starter's role but his recent success has come as a reliever with the Padres.
Josmil Pinto on Tuesday made his first start of spring behind the plate. A right quadriceps strain forced him to miss the first week and a half of games, and he was limited to designated hitter duties when he first returned. Pinto, trying to make the team as the backup catcher, has to show the club that his catching skills have improved. Molitor said he also wants to look at Chris Herrmann behind the plate as well.
Aaron Hicks made a terrific diving catch in left-center in the third, robbing Alejandro De Aza of a hit. ``He had to close on that ball late to make that catch,'' Molitor said.
Eddie Rosario, a long shot to break camp with the team, made himself get noticed again with a triple into the right field corner in the fourth off of Bud Norris. Rosario went 2-for-4 to raise his average to .304 in camp. ``That was a really good at-bat,'' Molitor said. ``I don't know how many balls e fouled off with two strikes before he finally hooked one down the corner. I liked that he didn't hesitate around second. The guy bobbled that ball and he was already in full stride. That was good to see.''
Kennys Vargas didn't even get all of the pitch he hit out to right center. His power is ridiculous. If he can cut down on chasing bad pitches and force teams to come into him, he could have a big power year.
Paul Molitor won his first argument as manager when he got a home run by Jimmy Paredes in the seventh changed to a triple. as the ball did not go over the wall. The fans let Molly have it, but he was right.
Mark Hamburger's run of five scoreless innings ended abruptly on Tuesday when he was charged with four earned runs. Then again. Michael Tonkin struggled and Brian Duesning was hit around. Molitor sounded a little disappointed. ``They were putting up crooked numbers and we were trying different people to see how they would respond.''