The members of the Twins' 25-man roster continued their auspicious start to the Grapefruit League season. 8/9ths of the opening day lineup torched Red Sox co-Ace Jon Lester for 4 ER on 3 H and 2 BB, forcing him from the game after just 1 IP. Denard Span, Orlando Hudson and Joe Mauer did their jobs, loading the bases for Justin Morneau, who drove in 2 with a 2B. Michael Cuddyer followed with an RBI single, and Delmon Young later added a SF to RF. Alexi Casilla subbed in mid-game and drove in the Twins' 5th run with a single to CF. He was moved to CF in the 8th inning, and allowed a deep drive to bounce off his glove for a 2B. You'd think the guy never played OF or something.
Carl Pavano didn't have the greatest control, walking 2 in 2 IP, but he was able to pitch around trouble. Jon Rauch, Matt Guerrier and Clay Condrey all threw perfect innings. Then Rochester's back-end trio of Rob Delaney, Anthony Slama and Alex Burnett combined for 3 scoreless IP with 2 ground ball singles and 3 K. Deolis Guerra wrapped it up by pitching around Casilla's misplay in CF, inducing a game-ending DP with runners at the corners.
Tiny sample sizes, to be sure. Then again, you feel better about the way Nick Blackburn pitched last night while facing 6 Sox regulars than the Sox fans must feel about how Lester did against 8 Twins regulars.
Tomorrow: Francisco Liriano's spring debut!