FORT MYERS, Fla. – The Twins’ pitching was exciting to watch on Friday, the guy in charge of the staff said. And then Brandon Waring gave the offense a thrill, too.
Waring smacked a Troy Patton fastball onto the left-field berm with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, a solo home run that salvaged a 2-2 tie with the Baltimore Orioles at Hammond Stadium. No extra innings were played because the Twins, playing split-squad games in Fort Myers and Tampa, did not have enough available pitching to continue, producing the second tie this week.
Mike Pelfrey allowed one run over 3⅓ innings and pitched out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam by giving up only one run. Glen Perkins struck out two in his inning, then signed a new $22 million contract. And veteran Matt Guerrier, facing major league hitters for the first time this spring, used a startling weapon, pitching coach Rick Anderson said, to record two strikeouts of his own.
“His ball sunk like crazy,” Anderson said of Guerrier, the former Twin who is recovering from forearm surgery. “It was fun to watch him out there again. … Today he had a better sinker than I’ve seen.”
That’s saying something since Guerrier pitched 472 innings for Anderson before leaving as a free agent after the 2010 season.
Pelfrey got into trouble by relying too much on his fastball, Anderson said, but recovered by mixing in breaking pitches. “I would prefer not to be in those situations, but I thought that was good damage control,” Pelfrey said.