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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Los Angeles - LP: B. Wilson 7 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: J. Grimm 8
Detroit - WP: M. Scherzer 3 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: J. Shields 2
Philadelphia 2 Top 7th Inning
Oakland 0
Toronto 4 Top 7th Inning
NY Yankees 2
Arizona 1 Bottom 7th Inning
Colorado 5
Boston - R. De La Rosa 6:05 PM
Baltimore - C. Tillman
Milwaukee - M. Garza 6:05 PM
Pittsburgh - E. Volquez
Washington - J. Zimmermann 6:10 PM
Miami - J. Cosart
NY Mets - J. Niese 6:10 PM
Atlanta - M. Minor
Chicago WSox - H. Noesi 6:10 PM
Tampa Bay - C. Archer
Cleveland - T. House 6:10 PM
Minnesota - T. May
Seattle - C. Young 6:10 PM
Houston - D. Keuchel
Cincinnati - M. Leake 6:15 PM
St. Louis - M. Wacha
San Francisco - Y. Petit 7:40 PM
San Diego - A. Cashner
Texas - C. Lewis 8:05 PM
LA Angels - J. Weaver
San Diego 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Dallas 9/21/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Washington 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Houston 9/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Minnesota 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Tennessee 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Baltimore 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Green Bay 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Indianapolis 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Oakland 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New England
San Francisco 9/21/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Denver 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Kansas City 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Miami
Pittsburgh 9/21/14 7:30 PM
Carolina
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
Washington
Connecticut 14 FINAL
So Florida 17
Old Dominion 45 FINAL
Rice 42
Troy 0 FINAL
(13) Georgia 66
Georgia Tech 27 FINAL
Virginia Tech 24
Eastern Mich 14 FINAL
(11) Michigan State 73
Iowa 24 FINAL
Pittsburgh 20
Bowling Green 17 FINAL
(19) Wisconsin 68
Maryland 34 FINAL
Syracuse 20
Tulane 13 FINAL
Duke 47
Hawaii 12 FINAL
Colorado 21
Marshall 48 FINAL
Akron 17
North Carolina 27 3rd Qtr 11:49
East Carolina 42
Army 21 4th Qtr 9:20
Wake Forest 17
Virginia 16 3rd Qtr 1:26
(21) BYU 27
(6) Texas A&M 48 4th Qtr 13:10
SMU 3
Rutgers 31 4th Qtr
Navy 17
Central Mich 10 3rd Qtr 6:03
Kansas 10
Utah 23 4th Qtr 13:13
Michigan 10
Florida 21 3rd Qtr 5:27
(3) Alabama 28
Louisville 28 2nd Qtr 1:22
FIU 0
Texas State 14 Delayed 13:35
Illinois 6
Fla Atlantic 16 3rd Qtr 0:58
Wyoming 10
Indiana 17 3rd Qtr 10:30
(18) Missouri 17
San Jose St 7 3rd Qtr 1:00
Minnesota 17
Massachusetts 0 3rd Qtr 7:11
Penn State 41
Georgia State 0 1st Qtr 10:22
Washington 0
Appalachian St 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Miss State 6:00 PM
(8) LSU
Northern Ill 6:00 PM
Arkansas
Middle Tennessee 6:00 PM
Memphis
Utah State 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Miami-Ohio 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Idaho 6:00 PM
Ohio U
Ball State 6:00 PM
Toledo
(14) So Carolina 6:30 PM
Vanderbilt
(4) Oklahoma 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Ga Southern 6:30 PM
South Alabama
UNLV 7:00 PM
Houston
(22) Clemson 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State
Miami-Florida 7:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
New Mexico 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 9:00 PM
Arizona
Louisiana 9:30 PM
Boise State
(2) Oregon 9:30 PM
Washington St
San Diego St 9:30 PM
Oregon State
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(25) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(12) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:00 AM
NC State
Duke 9/27/14 2:00 AM
Miami-Florida
North Carolina 9/27/14 2:00 AM
(22) Clemson
Texas-El Paso 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(20) Kansas State
Tennessee 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Vanderbilt 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Kentucky
Wyoming 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Northwestern 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
TCU 9/27/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Iowa 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Tulane 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
So Florida 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Colorado State 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Western Mich 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
Maryland 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Indiana
Akron 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/27/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Arkansas 9/27/14 2:30 PM
(6) Texas A&M
Kent State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Virginia
Western Ky 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Minnesota 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Wake Forest 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Louisville
FIU 9/27/14 2:30 PM
UAB
Miami-Ohio 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Colorado 9/27/14 3:00 PM
California
Louisiana Tech 9/27/14 3:00 PM
(5) Auburn
Texas 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Kansas
Temple 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Connecticut
(16) Stanford 9/27/14 3:15 PM
Washington
TX-San Antonio 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
South Alabama 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
Cincinnati 9/27/14 5:00 PM
(23) Ohio State
Rice 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
(18) Missouri 9/27/14 6:00 PM
(14) So Carolina
Boise State 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Air Force
Central Mich 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
Troy 9/27/14 6:00 PM
ULM
New Mexico St 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(8) LSU
Memphis 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(10) Ole Miss
Texas State 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Washington St 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Utah
(9) Notre Dame 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Syracuse
(7) Baylor 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Iowa State
UNLV 9/27/14 7:00 PM
San Diego St
Illinois 9/27/14 8:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
Oregon State 9/27/14 9:30 PM
(17) USC
Nevada 9/27/14 9:30 PM
San Jose St
Vancouver FC 0 2nd Half
Portland 1
Houston 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
New England 6:30 PM
Columbus
San Jose 6:30 PM
Montreal
Seattle 6:30 PM
Red Bull New York
D.C. 7:30 PM
Chicago
FC Dallas 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Toronto 40 FINAL
Brt Columbia 23
Edmonton 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Calgary 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Ottawa 9/21/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Montreal 9/26/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 9/26/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/27/14 5:30 PM
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Brt Columbia 9/27/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
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