FORT MYERS, Fla. — Brian Dozier clubbed his second home run of the spring, a two-run shot to the left-field berm, and Kurt Suzuki added a two-run double on Sunday. But the Twins’ bullpen couldn’t hold a five-run lead, and St. Louis rallied for a 6-6 tie at Hammond Stadium.
Kyle Gibson allowed only two hits and struck out four as he became the first Twins pitcher to go four innings this spring. Gibson reduced his spring ERA to 2.00 over three starts, and kept the Twins unbeaten in their last four Grapefruit League games.
One day after claiming a 6-3 victory in the Cardinals’ home park in Jupiter, Fla., the Twins rocked Cardinals starter Carlos Martinez for five runs over 3 1/3 innings, jumping to a 5-0 lead. Dozier had the biggest hit, a high fly ball that kept carrying deep to left field, finally landing on the grassy berm among some of the 8,951 fans in attendance. Dozier is 7-for-14 this spring, and his two homers tie him with three teammates for the team lead.
But St. Louis rallied for four runs off of Twins reliever Tim Stauffer, who surrendered six hits and a walk, retired only seven hitters, and increased his spring ERA to 15.00. Stauffer, who signed a one-year, $2.2 million contract as a free agent over the winter, has allowed 12 runs runs in three outings this spring, or nearly one-fourth of the 49 the Twins have allowed altogether.
Caleb Thielbar allowed one run in the eighth, striking out Pete Kozma with the bases loaded to help preserve a one-run lead. But Casey Fien couldn’t hold it in the ninth, when a walk, a single and a sacrifice fly by Dean Anna produced the game-tying score. Eduardo Nunez singled in the bottom of the ninth, but was thrown out at home plate while trying to score from second on James’ Beresford’s two-out single. With both teams running out of pitchers, the game was declared a tie.