FORT MYERS, FLA. – There sure was a lot of first-pitch swinging on Saturday during the spring training finale between the Twins and Red Sox. Almost as if taking pitches would come with some sort of penalty.
"You'll have to ask Mr. [Torii] Hunter about that," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "He was kind of taking charge."
Spring training getaway days are more like get-it-over-with days, which was proved again on Saturday when Boston beat the Twins 4-2 in a tidy 2 hours, 5 minutes. The Red Sox took control by scoring scored three runs in the fourth off Twins righthander Kyle Gibson. Gibson gave up four runs over six innings, ending spring training with a 3.51 ERA.
Closer Glen Perkins hit 94 miles per hour on the gun during his scoreless inning.
"[Saturday] was his best day,'' Molitor said.
Back-to-back doubles by Joe Mauer and Hunter in the third inning scored their first run, and the other came on a Danny Ortiz RBI double in the fifth.
The Twins dressed in a hurry after the game, too, chomping down pizza on the way out of Hammond Stadium as they began their trip to Detroit, where they open the season against the Tigers on Monday. Ervin Santana being handed an 80-game suspension on Friday for testing positive for a banned substance dampened spirits, but Molitor said he was pleased about how the team prepared for the season.
"I thought everyone stepped up in terms of what they brought to what we are trying to do here," Molitor said. "The roster took shape over time. I feel like we are leaving with a nice, balanced team."