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.
FORT MYERS, FLA. -- Aaron Hicks and Wilkin Ramirez each homered, and Eduardo Escobar drove in a pair of runs, but Puerto Rico rallied with five runs over the final four innings to win a tune-up game for this weekend's World Baseball Classic, 8-7 in Hammond Stadium.
Hicks led off the bottom of the first by plunking a palm tree beyond the right field fence, his second home run of the spring. Hicks, competing for the starting job in center field, added a walk and a single, scoring two runs.
Vance Worley allowed two earned runs in 3 1/3 innings, but retired seven of the final nine hitters he faced.
The Twins led Team Puerto Rico 5-2 after three innings, but Jared Burton allowed two runs on a home run by Pedro Valdes, and Alex Burnett gave up three runs in 1 1/3 innings to surrender the lead.
Puerto Rico, which collected 17 hits, opens WBC play Friday in San Juan against Spain. The Twins return to Grapefruit League action Thursday with split-squad games, one at home against the Red Sox and one in Clearwater against the Phillies.
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