FORT MYERS, Fla. — A couple of extra notes from the Twins’ 4-2 loss to Pittsburgh on Friday:
— It sounds like Blaine Boyer is close to pitching himself into the Twins’ bullpen. The 33-year-old veteran righthander, who spent last season with San Diego, faced four batters Friday and returned them all, striking out one.
That brings Boyer’s spring totals to 7 1/3 innings, with five hits, one walk and four strikeouts. He's allowed a run to score in only one of his appearances, and has an ERA of 2.45. Considering he held right-handed batters to a .178 average last season, Boyer might be in line for a job as a righty specialist, or perhaps a seventh-inning guy.
“He’s made a nice impression here, there’s no denying that,” manager Paul Molitor said. “He definitely knows how to pitch a little bit. He’s had experience. … He’s focused. He’s making a run for it, that’s for sure.”
— Another player who has impressed Molitor is Eduardo Escobar, who hasn’t allowed his competition with Danny Santana for the shortstop job affect him. Escobar drove in a run with a single to center on Friday, giving him a team-leading 10 on the spring. (Kennys Vargas is second with 7 RBIs.)
How many Twins reached double-digits in RBIs last spring? That would be none.
Escobar is handling the position expertly, including going deep into the hole and throwing out Francisco Cervelli in the first inning. “He made some nice plays,” Molitor said. “He made the right decisions on a couple.”