BRADENTON, FLA. – LaMonte Wade Jr. started it off with a three-run homer in the second inning. It was a hint that more were on the way.
Twins hitters feasted on meaty pitches from Pirates hurlers Saturday and launched several of them into a wind blowing out to straightaway center field. The result was five home runs in all during a 10-1 rout of Pittsburgh at LECOM Park.
After Wade opened the scoring, the Twins hit three home runs in the fifth — a leadoff shot by Adam Rosales, a two-run homer by Mitch Garver and a solo home run by Michael Reed. All were struck off Keone Kela, who is tabbed as one of the Pirates’ setup men this season.
Joe Cronin, brought on the trip from Twins minor league camp as an extra player, hit a three-run homer in the eighth.
The Twins entered Saturday tied for sixth in the league with 21 homers hit in exhibition games, so they probably are headed up the list after the onslaught in Bradenton.
Perhaps they are practicing for the regular season.
“Yeah, man,” lefthander Martin Perez said of the offense. “We’re hot right now and I think we feel good and we are together right now. We have to stay humble and continue playing the way we’ve been playing.”
Perez pitched four scoreless innings Saturday. Rosales’ homer was his team-high third of the exhibition season.
La VELLE E. NEAL III