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Ricky Nolasco will be the Twins’ starter on Opening Day, but he struggled mightily against the Mets on Friday. Nolasco gave up seven runs on six hits and two walks in the first inning of the team’s 9-1 loss.

GERALd HERBERT • Associated Press,

Twins' Opening Day starter has rough outing

  • March 22, 2014 - 12:12 AM

– Ricky Nolasco appears to be saving his best for the regular season.

Nolasco was hit hard Friday in his next-to-last outing of spring training as the Mets used seven first-inning runs to cruise to a 9-1 win at Hammond Stadium. And most of the hits weren’t bloops.

The Mets had three doubles, one triple and a two-run home run by Taylor Teagarden as they sent 10 men to the plate in the first inning. Most of Nolasco’s offerings were belt-high and over the middle of the plate, and the Mets didn’t miss. Nolasco, in three innings, gave up seven runs on six hits and two walks with three strikeouts. His spring training ERA rose from 3.27 to 7.07.

Nolasco was asked afterward if he was working on something in particular.

“Nope,” he began before chuckling. “Yeah, getting outs. I gave my outfielders some conditioning today.”

Nolasco will make one more start this spring before taking the ball on March 31 in the season opener at Chicago against the White Sox.

Lucas Duda hit a two-run home run off Casey Fien for the final two Mets runs. Michael Tonkin followed with two scoreless innings and Matt Guerrier and Jared Burton had one each.

La Velle E. Neal III

© 2014 Star Tribune