FORT MYERS, Fla. – The Twins pounded out 14 hits, six of them for extra bases, in a 12-2 split-squad shellacking of the Blue Jays on Monday. But it was the quieter plate appearances that most excited them.
Twins hitters accepted eight walks from Toronto pitchers, creating big innings that led to the rout at Hammond Stadium.
“I was just extremely happy, and [hitting coach Tom Brunansky] was, too, with all the walks. [Oswaldo] Arcia had two walks in the game, and I don’t know if he had two walks in a game last year,” said bench coach Terry Steinbach, who managed this split squad. “So that’s telling us that he’s seeing the ball and he’s working at” his approach.
Outfielder Jermaine Mitchell had a good approach, too, racking up four RBI with a sacrifice fly, a two-run double and a solo home run over the right-center field fence. Brian Dozier had a pair of doubles, and Eric Fryer added a bases-loaded double that Blue Jays right fielder Kenny Wilson lost in the sun. The Twins scored four runs in the first inning, drawing four walks off Toronto starter J.A. Happ, who retired only one hitter.
Twins pitchers had no such trouble. Kevin Correia and Kyle Gibson pitched three scoreless innings apiece, and Casey Fien and Caleb Thielbar closed the Jays out. Toronto’s runs came on a two-run homer by Edwin Encarnacion off Brian Duensing.
“No complaints about our pitching. It was pretty impressive,” Steinbach said. “You take that one pitch away from Deuce, and we have no complaints whatsoever.”