Twins roll out opening day lineup in win
FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) -- The Minnesota Twins battered Baltimore starter Brian Matusz with their anticipated opening day lineup, beating the Orioles 5-2 on Wednesday night.
Matusz allowed eight of 12 batters at reach base, giving up four runs on five hits and three walks.
The left-hander pitched just 1 1-3 innings before throwing more pitches in a bullpen session in an effort to improve his mechanics.
"It's nice to get this out of the way in spring training," said Matusz, line to start Baltimore's second game of the regular season.
Matsuz has a 5.93 ERA this spring. He went 10-12 with a 4.30 ERA last season.
Twins starter Francisco Liriano, also a left-hander, had mixed results. He struck out nine in three innings, but threw 76 pitches and had three walks. He gave up four hits and one run on Adam Jones' homer.
"I'd like to go deeper into games," said Liriano, who has a 4.97 ERA.
He was 14-10 with a 3.62 ERA last season.
"He was a little bit out there, but he got his work in," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He had a lot of punchouts. At the same time, I would think he would say he was a little disappointed with the way he threw the ball. But the main thing is he's healthy."
Gardenhire has had to worry about his players' health all spring. Four of his players have missed significant playing time -- first baseman Justin Morneau (concussion), catcher Joe Mauer (knee surgery), left fielder Delmon Young (turf toe) and right fielder Michael Cuddyer (foot).
All finally were in the lineup with the rest of the regulars Wednesday. Mauer started at catcher and went 1 for 3 with three RBIs and a two-run single. Morneau ended his 0-for-13 start to spring training by hitting a double in the seventh inning.
"Morneau got a big hit," Gardenhire said. "He kept saying, 'One more at-bat, one more at-bat.' I know until he gets a hit he doesn't want to get out."
Cuddyer was 1 for 2 with a walk.
"I feel good enough to go out there and play," Cuddyer said. "It hurts when I run the bases. But it's manageable now. I'm not going to be hindered. Not at all."
Gardenhire had center fielder Denard Span leading off, followed by second baseman Tsuyoshi Nishioka, Mauer and Morneau. Young hit fifth and went 2 for 3.
He was followed by designated hitter Jason Kubel, Cuddyer, third baseman Danny Valencia and shortstop Alexi Casilla.
FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) -- The longest tenured coach in Minnesota Twins history will start the season on the disabled list.
Bullpen coach Rick Stelmaszek is being replaced on a short-term basis by longtime minor league manager Phil Roof. Stelmaszek is recovering from surgery to repair a detached retina. He has missed all of spring training.
The popular Stelmaszek joined the Twins staff in 1981, making this his 30th season with the club. He originally joined the organization as a minor league manager in 1978.
The Twins also announced on Wednesday that they have reassigned catcher Steve Holm and outfielder Jeff Bailey to minor league camp.