JUPITER, Fla. – ByungHo Park hadn’t hit a home run yet this month. John Ryan Murphy had never hit one with the Twins in spring training. Dan Rohlfing’s last homer in Twins camp came in 2013. But all three players changed that on Friday, and the result was the Twins’ seventh consecutive victory, 8-2 over the Marlins at Roger Dean Stadium.
Tyler Duffey allowed one run over three innings in his first start of the spring, and Adalberto Mejia and Justin Haley combined for five more scoreless innings. J.T. Chargois surrendered a home run by Marlins farmhand Brian Anderson in the ninth inning.
Mejia, acquired by the Twins in a trade for Eduardo Nunez last summer, especially intrigued Twins manager Paul Molitor. The 23-year-old lefthander gave up two hits and two walks over three innings but never allowed a runner to reach third base. lowering his spring ERA to 1.35 in 6 2/3 innings.
“You just get the feeling that he knows what he wants to do with the ball. He’s got a couple of fastballs that he uses. He’s a strike thrower,” Molitor said. “It was crisp today. He’s had a nice run here early in camp.”
The Twins added two runs without a hit in the seventh inning, when Kyle Barraclough hit Eduardo Escobar with a pitch, then walked four consecutive batters.
First cuts coming
The first round of cuts looms early next week, but Molitor is already thinking about the choices he’ll have to make three weeks from now.
“My gut tells me we’re going to have some very tough [decisions] as we get closer to [finalizing] the 25-man roster,” the manager said.
Next week’s will be a little easier, of course, as the Twins, who currently have 62 players on their spring roster, send players projected to spend the season in the minor leagues across the complex.
No excitement yet
Counting their pair of wins against World Baseball Classic teams, the Twins have won seven consecutive games. Don’t expect Molitor to show much excitement about it, though, and not just because they don’t count.
As Molitor pointed out, the Twins won their final eight games of March last season, and it didn’t matter much once April arrived.
Still, he said: “We’ll choose winning any day. We just don’t get too excited about the fact that it’s happening at this particular juncture. If it helps guys feel good about their days, and guys are contributing to finding ways to help win, that’s part of the process, too.”
• A day after his first bullpen session of the spring, lefthanded reliever Mason Melotakis was feeling fine on Friday, the Twins said. He’s day-to-day, with his next session not yet scheduled.
• Righthander Stephen Gonsalves remains sidelined by soreness in the back of his left shoulder, but he’s receiving treatment and the injury is not considered serious.
The Twins’ Fort Myers neighbors, the Boston Red Sox, make their first visit to Hammond Stadium on Saturday, with Kyle Gibson hoping to build on a four-inning start earlier this week.