PORT CHARLOTTE, FLA. – The Twins made the 50-minute bus ride to Port Charlotte on Saturday to face the Rays. Kyle Gibson was the scheduled starter. And several regulars, including Nelson Cruz and Marwin Gonzalez, were in the lineup for a game that was to be televised in the Twin Cities.
Before Mother Nature interfered.
Rain started to fall moments after the national anthem was completed and, after a brief wait, the decision was made to cancel the game. The forecast called for afternoon showers, and no one wanted to see their key players play a fake game on a wet field. So the Twins boarded their bus, returned to Fort Myers and called it a day.
Everyone except Gibson, who stayed behind to throw indoors. Gibson has made just two starts in exhibition games because he got a late start following a bout with E. coli in January. So it was important for him to remain on schedule.
“He’s going to get as much of a work as we can get right now under the circumstances,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said.
Pitching coach Wes Johnson observed as Gibson threw to catcher Willians Astudillo.
Showers were in the area throughout the morning, and the forecast called for rain in the afternoon. The Twins still decided to make the short trip in hope that the game could be played. Team spokesman Dustin Morse said that the fact that the game was being televised in the Twin Cities had no bearing on their decision to make the trip.