NORTH PORT, Fla. – Sean Kazmar, who has played 1,670 minor-league games since 2004 but only 19 in the majors, doubled home two runs Friday and Drew Waters, who was 5 years old when Kazmar's pro career began, followed with a two-run double of his own, and the Braves handed the Twins their fourth consecutive Grapefruit League loss, 4-0 in a seven-inning game at CoolToday Park.
It was the second time in four days that the Twins had been shut out by the Braves. This time, the Twins managed only three hits off five Atlanta pitchers, a single and double by Keon Broxton and a single by Rob Refsnyder. Minnesota sent the minimum 15 hitters to the plate though the first five innings.
The Braves' offense wasn't much better until a four-run, sixth-inning rally. Free-agent signee Matt Shoemaker retired all seven batters he faced in his Grapefruit League debut, striking out two. Randy Dobnak allowed three hits, but worked out of a first-and-third situation in the fifth by striking out Guierrmo Heredia.
But after recording two quick outs in the sixth inning, reliever Brandon Waddell lost his command, issuing two walks and a single to load the bases. Kazmar, a 36-year-old infielder who has played seven consecutive seasons for the Braves' Class AAA team, broke up the scoreless game by slicing a double into the left field corner. Waters, who has yet to appear in the majors, dropped a fly ball into shallow right field for another double, and the Twins called off the inning after just two outs.
Minnesota travels up Daniels Parkway on Saturday to face the Red Sox at JetBlue Park.