FORT MYERS, FLA. - In the winter of 2019, the Twins allowed Martin Perez to depart as a free agent, and signed Josh Donaldson. For at least one humid spring night, they looked like great decisions.
Donaldson doubled and blasted a two-run home run off the former Twins lefthander in the first two innings Thursday night, and the Twins rode the lead he provided, plus the pitching of Randy Dobnak, to a 7-4 Grapefruit League victory over the Red Sox at jetBlue Park.
Byron Buxton smacked a bases-loaded double in the first inning, scoring Donaldson, Nelson Cruz and Kyle Garlick to start the scoring spree off Perez. An inning later, after Mitch Garver reached first base on an error by Rafael Devers, Donaldson crushed an 0-2 changeup from Perez far beyond the Green Monster replica in left field.
Luis Arraez also doubled home a run in the fifth inning.
Dobnak took advantage of all the support, dominating the Red Sox for five innings. Dobnak allowed only one hit, a fifth-inning solo home run by Bobby Dalbec, who has hit five of his six home runs this spring against Minnesota pitching. Dobnak didn't issue a walk — and hasn't all spring, in 13⅔ innings — while striking out five, giving him 18 on the spring. Dobnak's ERA stands at 0.66, and batters have a .156 average against him.
The Twins' bullpen wasn't quite as sharp, with both Hansel Robles and Taylor Rogers allowing home runs, the former a solo shot by Jonathan Araúz, and the latter a two-run blast by César Puello.
Garver was hit on the left hand by a foul tip in the third inning and left the game, but it was only bruised, the Twins announced after an examination.