WASHINGTON – Ehire Adrianza homered, Mitch Garver drove in two runs with a clutch two-out ninth-inning hit, and Jose Berrios and six relievers held Washington to just two hits Tuesday, closing the Twins’ 2018 exhibition schedule with a 3-1 victory at Nationals Park.
Berrios, scheduled to start Sunday against the Orioles, walked Bryce Harper but easily dispatched the other nine Nationals he faced, three of them via strikeout, and then declared himself ready for his third big-league season. “My arm slot was very good. My pitches were right where I wanted them,” Berrios said. “I feel 100 percent ready to go.”
The bullpen looks set, too. Trevor Hildenberger surrendered a home run into the Twins’ pen by Nationals shortstop Trea Turner, and Taylor Rogers was nicked for an infield hit. But Washington managed no other hits, and the Twins improved to 14-14-3 this spring.
The Twins left immediately afterward for Baltimore, where they open the season on Thursday afternoon.
Brian Dozier singled to lead off the game, and doubled into the corner in the sixth, and said he is excited to see what the Twins’ offense produces this year, after racking up 815 runs in 2017, fifth-most in franchise history.
“There are no holes in our lineup. We’ve got guys that provide speed, guys with power, moving guys up, getting on base,” Dozier said. “We know how to create runs. We don’t just sit back.”
Garver didn’t in the ninth, after Nick Gordon led off with a single and Ryan LaMarre walked. A wild pitch by Washington righthander Trevor Gott moved the runners up and Adrianza, who connected on his third homer of the spring in the seventh inning, was intentionally walked. Garver worked the count to 3-1 and smacked a fastball into center field, scoring two to break the 1-1 tie.