FORT MYERS, Fla. - Ian Kinsler singled to left. Adam Jones singled to right. Nolan Arenado slammed a two-run double off the wall.
After three batters, Team USA looked ready to batter Twins righthander Trevor May on Wednesday and use his pitching to raise its confidence heading into the World Baseball Classic. Instead, it was May feeling good about himself after he shut down the national team during the Twins' 3-2 exhibition victory. May relished the chance to face a lineup, he said, that consisted of No. 3 hitters across the league.
"Team USA, man," May said. "We're all rooting for them to take home the title. Honestly, I was really, really excited."
After the first three batters, May shut out Team USA for 3⅔ innings on one hit and two walks. He kept his fastball on the corners and broke off a few nice curveballs — a pitch on which he's changed the grip.
Team USA fielded its A lineup, but started reliever Luke Gregerson and borrowed a few Twins farmhands to fill out the bullpen.
The Twins tied the score in the second with a couple of two-out hits. Jason Castro ended a nine-pitch at-bat with a single to right to score Max Kepler. Jorge Polanco followed with an eight-pitch at-bat that resulted in an infield hit when Arenado couldn't hold on to his soft liner.
ByungHo Park's sacrifice fly in the sixth put the Twins up 3-2. Craig Breslow pitched two innings to pick up the save.
May has given up only one earned run over 7⅔ innings this spring and is making his case to win the job as the Twins' No. 5. starter.
"Here it is, getting ready to use all of my stuff," May said. "Taking some risks, like when I get behind in the count and throw something I normally wouldn't. Not falling into patterns and being competitive from day one."