JUPITER, Fla. (AP) — Minnesota Twins prospect Miguel Sano hit a long, two-run homer Saturday in a 6-3 win over the St. Louis Cardinals.
Sano, a 21-year-old third baseman, missed last season because of Tommy John surgery. He connected off Cardinals reliever Tyler Lyons for a deep drive to left field.
“Was it higher or farther?” asked Twins manager Paul Molitor. “I don’t think he got it all, either. That’s the funny part. He stayed back on a changeup and we all know he’s a strong man.”
Sano is expected to start the season in the minors but he isn’t likely to stay down long if he continues to show this power. Earlier this week, he blasted a home run off Pittsburgh’s Gerrit Cole that Molitor said was even more impressive.
Twins starter Ricky Nolasco allowed one run in three innings.
Michael Wacha pitched three scoreless innings in his second outing for the Cardinals. He allowed two singles and struck out two, extending his scoreless streak to five innings.
Randal Grichuk hit his team-leading third homer for St. Louis and Mark Reynolds hit his second. Jason Heyward and Yadier Molina each had two hits.
Magneurius Sierra, at 18 the Cardinals’ top position prospect, played in his first spring training game. He went 0 for 3 and made an error in left field.
WAINWRIGHT WORKS ON FIELDING
Cardinals right-hander Adam Wainwright moved closer to making his spring debut when he came through a bullpen session without issues. Wainwright went through fielding drills for the first time since an abdominal strain early in camp. With manager Mike Matheny serving as his infielder, Wainwright fielded grounders, made throws to the bases and covered first base. He could make his first spring outing next week and remains on course to start on opening night.
GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN
Outfielder Shane Robinson had five homers in five seasons with the Cardinals but he still left as a fan favorite when he signed a minor league deal with the Twins. Robinson was greeted with a long ovation when he batted for the first time and also attracted a long line of autograph seekers before the game. “I was very humbled by the reaction,” said Robinson, who went 0 for 2 and walked. “It made me feel good for being recognized for my time there.”
Cardinals: RHP Michael Wacha worked three scoreless innings in his second outing and said he was pleased that he didn’t allow any walks. He yielded two singles and struck out two while using 49 pitches and stretching his scoreless streak to five innings. “I was able to throw off-speed pitches for strikes when I needed to and I was happy with that,” Wacha said.
Twins: RHP Alex Meyer, a candidate for the fifth-starter’s job, again followed Nolasco and was able to work out of jams in two scoreless innings. He said he learned a lesson after his first outing when the Pirates hit a couple of hard shots off him. “Facing Andrew McCutchen, I was a little too amped up and overthrowing a bit,” Meyer said. “It was better today to not let that get to me.” Against the Cardinals, Meyer struck out Matt Holliday swinging with a 95 mph fastball.
Cardinals: Pushed back the spring debut of center fielder Jon Jay until the middle of next week. He had been set to play on Monday but he wanted a couple of more days to test his surgically repaired left wrist in batting practice.
Twins: Closer Glen Perkins threw off a mound at the Twins’ complex in Ft. Myers for the first time in 10 days as he returns from a mild right abdominal strain. Perkins will throw another bullpen session on Tuesday before being cleared to pitch in a spring-training game.
The teams will play again on Sunday in Ft. Myers with Carlos Martinez making his third start for the Cardinals. The Cardinals and Twins also will meet four times in interleague play, June 15-16 in St. Louis and June 17-18 in Minneapolis.
(© Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)