Phil Miller covered three seasons of Twins baseball, but that was at a different ballpark for a different newspaper. Now Miller returns to the baseball beat after joining the Star Tribune as the Gopher football writer in 2010, and he won't miss the dingy dome for a minute. In addition to the Twins and Gophers, Miller covered the Utah Jazz and the NBA for six years at The Salt Lake Tribune.

Odds & ends from Twins' spring home opener

Posted by: Phil Miller under MLB Updated: February 24, 2013 - 6:45 PM

I asked Chris Colabello if he was a hero to his teammates or a villain in the ninth inning, when his infield hit scored Darin Mastroianni from second base and sent the game -- a meaningless spring-training game -- into extra innings. He laughed and admitted, "I should have hit that pitch over the right-field wall," and ended the game.

He only cost his teammates an extra half-hour or so at the ballpark, though, so mostly, everyone was happy for him, and for Brandon Boggs, who bashed a ninth-inning, three-run homer.

Deolis Guerra couldn't keep it tied, though, surrendering a two-run blast in the 10th to fourth-string Rays catcher Mark Thomas, in the 10-7 loss. That ended a long day of baseball that began with a six-inning intrasquad game in the morning. "Squeeze bunts, hit-and-runs, sacrifices, on the [second] day of spring training," manager Ron Gardenhire said, rubbing his face in weariness. "We've seen everything already."

Mastroianni saw more than he planned, too. Everyone who took part in the intrasquad game was allowed to leave early, except him. His manager had a hunch.

"I kept Masti there, and he knew it, because last year I pinch-ran him in the ninth inning of a spring training game, too," Gardenhire said. "He said the exact same thing -- 'You're going to pinch-run me, aren't you?' I said, 'If we get in the right spot, yes.' So he was ready and he ran."

And he scored the tying run.

A couple other leftovers from Sunday's long day of baseball:

-- Attendance at Hammond Stadium was only 5,124, well off the capacity of 8,100. I know the games are starting about a week earlier this year due to the World Baseball Classic, but that was startling for a Twins' home opener. Is it a reflection of decreasing interest after two bad seasons?

-- Gardenhire seemed to enjoy the interest Kyle Gibson's impressive two innings was drawing. Asked what he thought, the manager first deadpanned, "He's just OK." Then he joked, "I told [pitching coach Rick Anderson] not to pitch him again. And we'll start him and go seven on the first night."

-- Aaron Hicks went 0-for-3 in his first action of the spring, but made a nice sliding catch on a Texas Leaguer in the first inning. Joe Benson gets his chance to start in center tomorrow against Pittsburgh.

-- There were a handful of bad plays in the infield, but Gardenhire said that's to be expected. "Sometimes it looks like the ball's a hot potato -- you don't want to hold it too long," he said. "We've got to learn some of our kids to slow down. We're seeing a lot of stuff you can talk about and hopefully make them better at the end."
 

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Detroit «00100002X340
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W:D.Price(15-12) L:K.Gibson(13-12) S:J.Nathan (35)
HR: MIN- None DET- I.Kinsler (17)

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San Francisco - WP: M. Bumgarner 8 FINAL
Pittsburgh - LP: E. Volquez 0
Minnesota 7:25 PM
Green Bay
Buffalo 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Chicago 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Cleveland 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
St. Louis 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Atlanta 10/5/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Tampa Bay 10/5/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Houston 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Dallas
Baltimore 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Pittsburgh 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Arizona 10/5/14 3:05 PM
Denver
Kansas City 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
NY Jets 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Diego
Cincinnati 10/5/14 7:30 PM
New England
Seattle 10/6/14 7:30 PM
Washington
Washington 1 FINAL
Buffalo 6
Carolina 3 FINAL
Columbus 6
Pittsburgh 2 FINAL
Detroit 0
Montreal 3 FINAL
Chicago 1
Arizona 2 FINAL
Edmonton 3
Fla Atlantic 6:00 PM
FIU
UCF 6:00 PM
Houston
Arizona 9:30 PM
(2) Oregon
Louisville 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Syracuse
San Diego St 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Utah State 10/3/14 9:15 PM
(18) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(12) Miss State
Ball State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Army
Iowa State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(21) Oklahoma State
Marshall 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Old Dominion
Southern Miss 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Middle Tennessee
(20) Ohio State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Maryland
Purdue 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Florida 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
SMU 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(22) East Carolina
Virginia Tech 10/4/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Eastern Mich 10/4/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Texas 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Indiana
Massachusetts 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Tulsa 10/4/14 2:00 PM
Colorado State
New Mexico 10/4/14 2:30 PM
TX-San Antonio
(3) Alabama 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(11) Ole Miss
(14) Stanford 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(9) Notre Dame
(17) Wisconsin 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Navy 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
(7) Baylor 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Texas
(4) Oklahoma 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(25) TCU
Wake Forest 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
NC State 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Clemson
Buffalo 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Bowling Green
Ohio U 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Central Mich
Oregon State 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Colorado
Vanderbilt 10/4/14 3:00 PM
(13) Georgia
Kansas 10/4/14 3:00 PM
West Virginia
Kent State 10/4/14 4:00 PM
Northern Ill
South Alabama 10/4/14 5:00 PM
Appalachian St
Texas-El Paso 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
(15) LSU 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(5) Auburn
UAB 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Ky
Texas Tech 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(23) Kansas State
Michigan 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rutgers
Hawaii 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rice
Toledo 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Mich
ULM 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Georgia State 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
Idaho 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Texas State
Memphis 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Arizona State 10/4/14 6:30 PM
(16) USC
So Carolina 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Kentucky
Pittsburgh 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Virginia
Miami-Florida 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Georgia Tech
(19) Nebraska 10/4/14 7:00 PM
(10) Michigan State
UNLV 10/4/14 7:00 PM
San Jose St
Ga Southern 10/4/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Utah 10/4/14 9:30 PM
(8) UCLA
Boise State 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Winnipeg 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Edmonton 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Hamilton 10/10/14 6:00 PM
Toronto
Ottawa 10/11/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
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