FORT MYERS, FLA. – David Ortiz homered in his final game in Fort Myers, but the Twins rallied to beat the Red Sox 7-4 Thursday in their final spring training game in Florida before hopping a plane to Washington, D.C., for two games against the Nationals.
Danny Santana went 3-for-6 and Eddie Rosario homered as the Twins won their eighth consecutive Grapefruit League game and 10th in their past 11. At 19-10-1, the Twins can tie their all-time record for spring training victories, 21, set in 1991 — the year they last won the World Series. The Twins also took seven of eight games against Fort Myers rival Boston this spring.
With Twins righthander Kyle Gibson making his final start before the season begins, the Red Sox jumped out to a 3-0 lead; one run came on Hanley Ramirez’s homer. Rosario drove a pitch out to right off Clay Buchholz for his third spring training homer. After Ortiz homered in the fifth off Gibson, Santana hit an RBI single in the bottom of the inning to make it 4-2.
Then the Twins sent 11 men to the plate in the seventh as they scored five runs. The big blow was a two-run triple by Reynaldo Rodriguez.
Gibson gave up four runs on seven hits with a walk and three strikeouts, raising his ERA to 2.78. But neither he nor manager Paul Molitor was concerned, as Gibson was just trying to get his work in before preparing for when games count. Gibson, coming off an 11-11 season in 2015, is the team’s No. 3 starter.
“Kyle has had a good spring,” Molitor said. “He’s one of those guys I don’t have to fret or worry too much about.”
The Twins then packed up and headed for Washington. Molitor is grateful that there were no serious injuries and that they got all their scheduled work in. After two games against the Nationals, the Twins will bus to Baltimore to open the regular season against the Orioles on Monday.
“A couple more games to go, exhibition style,” Molitor said, “but 39 days of camp down here in Fort Myers, and I’m pleased.’’
La VELLE E. NEAL III