FORT MYERS, FLA. – Who needs homers? Miguel Sano created a run with his speed on Sunday.
Sano legged out a bloop hit to center field, moved to second on a single by Ehire Adrianza and tagged up on consecutive fly balls to score the first run of the game, and the Twins went on to salvage a 5-5 tie with the Blue Jays at Hammond Stadium.
Jose Berrios and three relievers held Toronto scoreless on just two hits through the first five innings of the Twins’ first home Grapefruit League game of the spring, but a pair of righthanders who probably will open the season in Class AAA Rochester, Jorge Alcala and Jake Reed, surrendered five runs and enabled the Blue Jays to take a late lead.
But Rochester first baseman Zander Wiel, who took over for Sano after three at-bats, provided Sano’s usual power, launching a long home run to left field off Kirby Snead to tie the score in the eighth. It remained tied after nine innings, the final out coming when the Twins’ Tyler Webb was thrown out at third base while trying to advance on a pitch in the dirt, and with pitchers in short supply for the Blue Jays, the teams agreed to finish that way.
Sano, who made his spring debut at his new position a smooth one, is in excellent shape, manager Rocco Baldelli said, as evidenced by the way he moved around the bases.
“He can really run. He actually gives really good effort on the bases when he’s out there. He’s trying to be the best baserunner and best ballplayer that he can be,” Baldelli said. “When you watch him run, you definitely think this is what a high-end defensive lineman in the NFL runs like.”