SARASOTA, FLA. - Righthander Ryan Pressly made his Twins debut on Saturday with a 1-2-3 inning in the third against Baltimore, but he was a little excited.
"I talked to him,'' manager Ron Gardenhire said after the 5-3 loss to the Orioles in both teams' Grapefruit League opener. "A little amped up.''
Pressly, a Rule 5 draft pick last December, got Brian Roberts to ground out, Nate McLouth to fly out and Nick Markakis to pop up in the inning. It was a solid debut for a pitcher who hasn't pitched above Class AA.
Markakis popped out on a changeup, a pitch Pressly didn't throw much during Arizona Fall League action but has dusted off this spring. Now he wants to work on his slider and curveball.
His fastball usually is in the low 90-miles-per-hour range, but Pressly said there have been nights he has reached back and thrown it at 98.
"If I feel like I can handle it and put one in there I'll try to reach back and grab it,'' he said.
For now, the Twins want him to not get too amped up and to help them decide if he can make the team. Pressly has to remain on the major league roster all season or be offered back to Boston.
Hammer Time already
Josh Willingham slugged 35 homers last season and didn't waste much time getting started this year. He launched a pitch from Tommy Hunter in the third inning into the left field seats, for a two-run homer that gave the Twins a 2-1 lead.
Willingham also singled in the first inning. He was lifted from the game after his homer.
Outfielder Oswaldo Arcia, one of the Twins' top prospects, will miss several days because of a left intercostal muscle strain suffered on Friday in Fort Myers.
''Obviously those things don't go away overnight," Gardenhire said. "There's a chance it might be a little bit before he sees action again.''
• Baltimore took the lead for good in the eighth inning when Trayvon Robinson hit a two-run homer off Tyler Robertson. "Cardinal sin, walked the first guy, then get behind [Robinson],'' Gardenhire said of Robertson. "Robby kind of stopped the game and they ended up hitting a home run against him. First time out, see how we get better.''
• Twins catcher Chris Herrmann nearly pulled off a double tag at home plate in the fifth. McLouth doubled to right field. Manny Machado scored from second as Herrmann caught a high throw from cutoff man Eddie Rosario, but Herrmann then tagged out Jonathan Schoop, trying to score from first. Gardenhire said if Rosario had gotten rid of the ball faster -- which he could have -- Herrmann could have tagged out both runners.
Trevor Plouffe has fully recovered from a sore right calf and is expected to play in an intrasquad game on Sunday at the Lee County Sports Complex. That game will take place at 9 a.m., in advance of the regularly scheduled game between the Twins and Rays at noon. Liam Hendriks is scheduled to start against Tampa Bay.
LA VELLE E. NEAL III