WBC-bound stalwarts provide lone Twins highlights in loss

  • Article by: PHIL MILLER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 2, 2013 - 10:26 PM

FORT MYERS, FLA. - They have had only three weeks to train for "playoff-type baseball," as Justin Morneau calls it. So just how ready can Morneau, Joe Mauer and Glen Perkins really be for the World Baseball Classic?

As the Red Sox can attest: very.

Mauer had a sharp single and a sharper line-out in three at-bats Saturday, Perkins easily struck out two of the three hitters he faced, and Morneau crushed a blast far beyond the right-field wall -- the trio's farewell acts as they leave to join Team USA or, in Morneau's case, Team Canada.

"Hopefully that means we're ready to go," Morneau said after the Twins' 2-1 loss to the Red Sox in Hammond Stadium. "It's a good way to head there, that's for sure."

The North American teams convene Monday in Arizona for their first workouts, play exhibition games Tuesday and Wednesday, then open first-round play next weekend at Chase Field in Phoenix.

The quadrennial tournament will leave a 13-player void in the Twins' clubhouse, but it also has meant a rush to get up to game speed, not follow the leisurely, relaxed pace of a normal spring camp. Morneau played in six of the last seven games, and said the sped-up schedule worked.

"I know I have to be ready in a couple of days to play playoff-type baseball," he said. "I think everyone knows what's at stake, and that's what makes it fun -- playing in that intensity and with the adrenaline kicking in."

There wasn't much adrenaline in Saturday's blustery weather, especially for the hitters. Morneau's home run off Alfredo Aceves was the lone Twins run, and six Minnesota relievers allowed only three hits in 7 1/3 innings. Kyle Gibson struck out three of the nine hitters he faced but allowed a walk and three hits, including home run to Juan Carlos Linares, as Boston ended the Twins' five-game winning streak.

Esmerling Vasquez surrendered the tie-breaking run in the fifth inning by walking the first two hitters he faced and giving up an RBI single to Ryan Sweeney.

  • BOSTON 2, TWINS 1

    Up next: 12:05 p.m. today at Tampa Bay • Radio: 96.3-FM

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Pittsburgh - LP: F. Liriano 0 FINAL
Cincinnati - WP: J. Cueto 4
Tampa Bay - LP: J. Odorizzi 0 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: M. Gonzalez 3
Chicago Cubs - LP: J. Hammel 0 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: M. Tanaka 3
St. Louis - LP: J. Kelly 1 FINAL
Milwaukee - WP: W. Peralta 5
NY Mets - WP: D. Gee 5 FINAL
Arizona - LP: B. McCarthy 2
Atlanta - WP: J. Teheran 1 FINAL
Philadelphia - LP: C. Lee 0
Chicago Cubs - LP: T. Wood 0 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: M. Pineda 2
Cleveland - WP: Z. McAllister 3 FINAL
Detroit - LP: A. Sanchez 2
Washington - WP: D. Storen 6 FINAL
Miami - LP: M. Dunn 3
Seattle - LP: F. Rodney 2 FINAL
Texas - WP: P. Figueroa 3
Boston - WP: C. Capuano 6 FINAL
Chicago WSox - LP: L. Garcia 4
Kansas City - WP: D. Duffy 6 FINAL
Houston - LP: J. Williams 4
Toronto 0 Postponed
Minnesota 0
Oakland - LP: D. Pomeranz 4 FINAL
LA Angels - WP: J. Smith 5
Colorado - LP: J. De La Rosa 2 FINAL
San Diego - WP: A. Cashner 4
Los Angeles - LP: J. Howell 1 FINAL
San Francisco - WP: J. Machi 2
Chicago 86 FINAL
Charlotte 91
Indiana 101 FINAL
Orlando 86
Atlanta 111 FINAL
Milwaukee 103
Dallas 105 FINAL
Memphis 106
Detroit 111 FINAL
Oklahoma City 112
Houston 100 FINAL
New Orleans 105
LA Lakers 113 FINAL
San Antonio 100
Brooklyn 85 FINAL
Cleveland 114
Philadelphia 100 FINAL
Miami 87
Utah 136 FINAL
Minnesota 130
Washington 118 FINAL
Boston 102
Toronto 92 FINAL
New York 95
Golden State 116 FINAL
Denver 112
LA Clippers 104 FINAL
Portland 110
Phoenix 104 FINAL
Sacramento 99
Montreal 5 FINAL(OT)
Tampa Bay 4
Columbus 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh 4
Dallas 3 FINAL
Anaheim 4
Philadelphia 1 FINAL
Red Bull New York 2
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