FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — Ricky Nolasco pitched five solid innings against his former team in the Minnesota Twins’ 4-2 victory over a Miami Marlins split squad Sunday.
Nolasco, likely to start on opening day for the Twins, threw 74 pitches, 48 for strikes. The right-hander exited with a 3.27 spring ERA after allowing two runs on seven hits (all singles) and no walks. He struck out three.
“I think that’s why I was brought over here,” Nolasco said of the opening day assignment. “It’s nothing that’s not expected. It’s something I’ve done before and just continue to do throughout my career.”
Nolasco started on opening day the Marlins in 2009 and 2013.
“It’s just another game,” he said. “You don’t make too much about it. I don’t put too much thought into it. I just go out there and keep doing whatever I need to do. Go deep in the game and try to get us in the dugout to score some runs.”
Eduardo Escobar broke a 2-all tie with a two-out, two-run single in the seventh inning Minnesota.
Oswaldo Arcia added a wind-blown triple and a sacrifice fly for the Twins, who evened their spring record at 7-7-3.
Donovan Solano singled in his first two trips against Nolasco. Brian Bogusevic also had two hits for Miami.
Most Marlins regulars were in Panama this weekend for two games against the New York Yankees.
Marlins: Right-hander Kevin Slowey allowed two runs in five innings against his former team. Slowey is likely to open the year in a swingman role.
“They know me and they know what I’m going to do,” Slowey said. “I’m usually not going to walk guys, although I did walk one today.”
Twins: Nolasco has yet to allow a home run through 11 spring innings. His career rate is exactly one homer allowed per nine innings. He got 10 outs on the ground and two in the air.
Marlins: Veteran second baseman Rafael Furcal remains day to day after reinjuring his left hamstring Saturday against the Nationals.
Twins: Shortstop Pedro Florimon, nearly a month removed from his Feb. 17 appendectomy, has been cleared to make his Grapefruit League debut Monday night against Baltimore. Florimon had no issues in a five-inning stint for Triple-A Rochester on Sunday morning.
“He looked like he was moving around fine,” assistant general manager Rob Antony said. “He looked comfortable.”
The switch-hitting Florimon went 1 for 5 with two strikeouts and a run-scoring triple from the left side.
Escobar’s two-run single in the seventh marked the second straight day the utility man drove in two runs with a late-inning hit.
“He can swing the bat,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “He’s here for a reason. There’s a good competition going on here.”
Veteran infielder Jason Bartlett came off the bench and drew his second walk of the spring. He is 0 for 23 with six strikeouts in Grapefruit League play as he tries to come back after sitting out since May 2012 with knee issues.
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