Twins pitchers respond to Anderson's challenge

Anderson saw some of his pitchers respond Saturday during a 6-4 victory over the Rays

 

– Twins pitching coach Rick Anderson has thrown down the gauntlet heading into the final week of spring training games, challenging his group to get into regular-season mode now.

‘‘I have talked to a bunch of them,’’ Anderson said. ‘‘It’s time. It’s time to start getting it going. Before you know it, it’s the regular season.’’

And Anderson saw some of his pitchers respond Saturday during a 6-4 victory over the Rays at Charlotte Sports Park, particularly after starter Kevin Correia left after 4⅔ innings.

Righthander Tim Wood pitched 1⅓ scoreless innings —needing just 11 pitches.

Lefthander Glen Perkins pitched a scoreless seventh, giving up a hit but erasing it on a double play. He used 11 pitches.

Struggling righthander Alex Burnett, who’s been working on mechanical corrections, needed 10 pitches to get through the eighth and high-fived his way through the dugout.

Casey Fien pitched a 1-2-3 ninth — needing just nine pitches.

‘‘The bullpen came out there and flung it,’’ Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. ‘‘That was fun to see.’’

Wilkin Ramirez, a candidate for a bench spot if the Twins go with two catchers, was 2-for-3 with a double and a stolen base and is batting .425 this spring. Dan Rohlfing, a catcher who was used at first base and left field Saturday, and infielder Eduardo Escobar each added two hits. Escobar’s two-run single in the seventh gave the Twins the lead for good, at 5-4.

Correia gave up three runs on five hits and three walks while striking out two. He has a 6.30 ERA in Grapefruit League action.

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