FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — Brian Dozier’s first-pitch home run and a shot by Miguel Sano just five pitches later set the tone as the Minnesota Twins beat the Boston Red Sox 6-2 Tuesday in a rain-shortened game.
Kurt Suzuki also homered for the Twins and Hanley Ramirez got two hits for Boston before the game was stopped with one out in the bottom of the seventh.READ MORE: Sanya's Hope For Children
Sano got three hits and drove in three runs. Dozier and Trever Plouffe each had two hits.
“Good day for it,” Sano said. “With the season coming, I have to show the power.”
Twins manager Paul Molitor said: “It was a good day for him. A lot of guys had good days at bat and he was certainly one of them.”
Minnesota left-hander Tommy Milone went six innings, allowing two runs on five hits and two walks.
Red Sox starter Joe Kelly went four innings, giving up four runs on eight hits and two walks with three strikeouts.
“He had great stuff today — power to his fastball, he was down in the strike zone quite a bit,” Boston manager John Farrell said. “Made some pitches up, out over the plate that, when you look at the first pitch of the game, Dozier rides one out of here. But power stuff. Not as efficient as the first two, three times out for him. Still, we got him to 90-plus pitches on a day when you’re getting close to opening day and you want to get close to 100 pitches. We were able to do that today.”
Minnesota’s Kurt Suzuki homered in the fourth inning and Miguel Sano’s two-out single scored Dozier, who singled and took second when Joe Mauer walked.
The Red Sox scored twice in the third after Mookie Betts and Brock Holt hit one-out singles and moved up on a wild pitch. Chris Young had a sacrifice fly and Ramirez had an RBI single.
Red Sox: Kelly had had a fairly strong spring before this start. He entered the game having given up just three runs in 20 innings over five starts.
“Just a couple of mistake pitches,” Kelly said of his outing against the Twins. “Obviously the lead-off homer, first pitch of the game you throw a fastball down the middle and he jumped the gun. If we were playing them in a regular-season matchup, he’s definitely not going to get that pitch. The homer was a right-righty change I just left up to Sano and the pitch that Suzuki hit was actually a pretty good fastball.”READ MORE: Red Flag Warning In Effect For Northern Minnesota Counties
Twins: Milone, who has clinched a spot in the rotation and will make his season debut April 8 against the Kansas City Royals, and reliever Michael Tonkin will stay behind in Fort Myers when the team leaves after its final Grapefruit League game on Thursday to work in minor league games.
“He was good,” Molitor said. “He just doesn’t misfire very often. You see a lot of calls that are right there or just off and that’s kind of what makes him click. He gave up a couple, but he stayed in control and minimized there and went back out and threw a couple of zeros.”
Red Sox: RHP Carson Smith (flexor muscle strain) and LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (subluxation of the right knee) will start the season on the disabled list, as will RHP Brandon Workman and C Christian Vazquez, who are returning from Tommy John surgery.
Farrell announced that left-hander David Price will be Boston’s opening day starter Monday in Cleveland. The announcement was just a formality. The Red Sox signed Price to a seven-year, $217 million free agent contract in December.
This will be Price’s fifth opening day start. He started 2015 for the Tigers and 2011, 2013 and 2014 for the Rays.
The Twins made a series of roster moves before the game. RHP Tyler Duffey and LHP Ryan O’Rourke were optioned to Triple-A Rochester. LHP Logan Darnell and RHP Brandon Kintzler were reassigned to minor league camp. Minnesota now has 25 players in camp, including one non-roster player.
Red Sox: Boston plays split-squad games on Wednesday. Price will face LHP Jonathan Niese and the Pittsburgh Pirates in Bradenton. RHP William Cuevas will start against the Tampa Rays in Port Charlotte. The Rays will send LHP Drew Smyly to the mound.
Twins: RHP Ervin Santana, Minnesota’s opening day starter, will face the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday. RHP Gavin Floyd gets the start for Toronto.MORE NEWS: Minneapolis Police Investigating Saturday Afternoon Shooting In South Minneapolis
(© Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)