Willingham Hits 1st HR, Twins Beat Red Sox 7-4
FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — Josh Willingham finally hit his first home run of the spring in Minnesota’s exhibition finale, and the Twins beat the Boston Red Sox 7-4 on Saturday.
The game was called because of rain with two outs in the top of the ninth inning.
Mike Napoli went 2 for 2 with a home run and three RBIs for the Red Sox. Jake Peavy, making his third Grapefruit League start, gave up one run and three hits in five innings. He walked one and struck out three.
Mike Pelfrey went four innings for Minnesota in his sixth start of the spring. He allowed four runs on five hits and three walks.
Boston left-hander Tommy Layne gave up five runs on two homers — to Adam Brett Walker and Josmil Pinto — in the seventh.
“Everything is over,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “Opening day. It doesn’t matter what you have done, how you hit and how you have fielded. It’s all opening day and you go from there. It all counts now.”
Twins: Peavy made just three starts this spring, delayed after he cut his left index finger on March 1 with a fishing knife. Manager John Farrell was pleased with Peavy’s spring.
“Even if there wasn’t an incident there with the finger, it’s been a spring training that has been productive,” Farrell said. “He made a normal progression. And then in light of the incident, we couldn’t be more pleased with the way he came through that particular situation and getting to the appropriate number of pitches thrown in a game.”
In six spring starts, Pelfrey threw a combined 17 2/3 innings this spring, giving up seven earned runs and 16 hits, one home run and six walks with nine strikeouts, posting a record of 1-0 with a 3.57 ERA.
“Overall, I’ve had a good spring,” Pelfrey said. “Today, the ball was flat and the ball was up. I don’t care if I’m facing Little Leaguers or the defending World Series champs, I’m going to get hit. And, obviously, they hit the ball very hard.”
Twins: Center field prospect Byron Buxton will remain in extended spring with a sprained left wrist.
Red Sox: Right fielder Shane Victorino left the game after the third inning, when he doubled and scored on Napoli’s double. Farrell said Victorino felt his right hamstring grab while rounding the bases. Victorino is expected to return to Boston for an MRI.
Designated hitter David Ortiz sat out Saturday’s spring training finale with an ailing right calf. He is expected to start Monday.
Left-hander Craig Breslow, on the disabled list with a mild left shoulder strain, is expected to throw Sunday at the team’s spring training complex.
FOR THE RECORD
Twins: Brian Duensing, Casey Fien, Jared Burton and Caleb Thielbar combined to pitch four scoreless innings after Pelfrey.
Red Sox: Shortstop Xander Bogaerts went 2 for 2 with a double and an RBI.
The Red Sox and Twins, rivals in Lee County, split their Grapefruit League season series 3-3.
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