More sloppy play against Red Sox
FORT MYERS, FLA. - It might not be a big deal if the Twins weren't coming off a year of fundamental breakdowns and 99 losses.
But the past two days, the Twins have played some really atrocious baseball against the Red Sox. In Monday night's 10-2 loss, Jason Marquis threw three wild pitches past catcher Joe Mauer, and the Twins made two errors, by left fielder Ryan Doumit and one by first baseman Justin Morneau.
That came after a split-squad game Sunday that featured a circus play on defense and a baserunning gaffe in an 8-3 loss to Boston.
It was fireworks night at Hammond Stadium, but half of the sellout crowd departed by game's end. Asked what positive things he saw, manager Ron Gardenhire couldn't think of much beyond Mauer's swing, which produced two hits.
A 10-2 score "kind of has a tendency to take the wick out of you, as they say, on fireworks night," Gardenhire said.
Dozier nearly promoted last year
Gardenhire said he lobbied to have Brian Dozier promoted from Class AA New Britain last year, when several other players had trouble defensively at shortstop.
"It didn't work out," Gardenhire said. "I lost, but a lot of people were saying they thought that would be a bad move for us to do that to him. He still has things to learn. He rushes things a little bit, but I think he's pretty talented. I like the way he goes about the game, I like his attitude. I like that he's willing to learn and willing to try things."
Doyle makes impression
Gardenhire was at the split-squad game against the Red Sox on Sunday, but he said there were good reports on Terry Doyle's two scoreless innings against the Rays in Port Charlotte.
Doyle, a Rule 5 draft pick, must be kept on the Opening Day roster or offered back to the White Sox, but it's clear the Twins are high on him.
"I like him," Gardenhire said. "We like the way he goes about it. He's a pretty aggressive kid. He's not going to mess around with the ball. He's gonna get it and wing it."
First base coach Jerry White, 59, was taken to the hospital because of tightness in his chest and stomach and was expected to remain overnight for tests. White, in his 14th year as a Twins coach, is the team's chief baserunning and outfield instructor.
• Nick Blackburn's next scheduled outing will come Wednesday in a B game against the Red Sox.
• Asked if catcher J.R. Towles raised eyebrows with his tiebreaking homer Sunday vs. the Rays, Gardenhire said, "My eyebrows went big."
Scott Baker will pitch opposite Jeff Niemann on Tuesday, when the Twins and Rays meet again in Port Charlotte. Doumit is scheduled to make his first start at catcher.