FORT MYERS, Fla. – Twins righthander Michael Pineda gave up back-to-back home runs to David Murphy and Nolan Arenado in the first inning of Tuesday’s 5-5 tie with Colorado at Hammond Stadium, then steadied, allowing just one hit the rest of the way.
He was charged with three earned runs on three hits and two walks while striking out seven in five innings pitched.
The exhibition game came as the Twins broke camp and prepared to fly to Minneapolis for Wednesday’s workout at Target Field. The regular season opens Thursday against Cleveland.
Pineda said he felt good and was ready to start the season. He will make his Twins debut and his first start in the major leagues since July 5, 2017, when he faces Cleveland in the final game of three-game series.
Meanwhile, veteran designated hitter Nelson Cruz might be peaking at the right time. He belted his first home run of the exhibition season, a two-run shot to left-center, in the first inning. Two batters later, C.J. Cron hit his third home run of camp, also to left-center.
LA VELLE E. NEAL III