Twins vs. Red Sox recap


Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Baseball is back and your 2013 World Champions played their first game against an MLB team since they triumphantly hoisted the World Series trophy over their shoulders. Twins vs. Red Sox in JetBlue Park on Friday at 1 p.m. was the match. Typically this would mark the first game of the infamous Mayor’s Cup between the two franchises – the crown of Fort Myers, Florida. However, the name that we have grown accustomed to has changed and the series is now being called the Chairman’s Cup. So today the inaugural game of the re-branded series commenced.

Here is how Gardenhire and Farrell penciled their lineups:

Boston Red Sox

  1. Jonny Gomes, LF
  2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
  3. David Ortiz, DH
  4. Mike Napoli, 1B
  5. Xander Bogaerts, SS
  6. Will Middlebrooks, 3B
  7. David Ross, C
  8. Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
  9. Bryce Brentz RF

Anthony Ranaudo, RHP

Minnesota Twins

  1. Alex Presley, CF
  2. Brian Dozier, 2B
  3. Trevor Plouffe, RF
  4. Oswaldo Arcia, RF
  5. Chris Colabello, 1B
  6. Jason Kubel, DH
  7. Wilkin Ramirez, LF
  8. Jason Bartlett, SS
  9. Chris Herrmann, C

Mike Pelfrey, RHP

The Red Sox began the game pitching highly touted prospect Anthony Ranaudo, and he sparkled in his 2014 spring debut. In two innings of work Ranaudo was perfect and punched out four of the six batters he faced. On the mound for the opposing Twins was veteran right-hander Mike Pelfrey, who is looking to solidify a spot in the rotation in his second consecutive season in a Minnesota uniform. Pelfrey pitched toe-to-toe with Ranaudo and shutout the formidable Red Sox 1-9, giving up only one hit in two innings.

The game was tied at a score of 0-0 going into the top of the 4th inning. Dalier Hinojosa, the twenty-eight year old right-hander, was set to pitch after a scoreless 3rd inning for the Red Sox. The 4th inning for Hinojosa was a challenge as he got rocked by the Twins batters. Trevor Plouffe drove in the first run on a hard hit line drive single to right. After that, Oswaldo Arcia drove in Plouffe on, again, a line drive single to right. A fielding error courtesy of prospect Bryce Brentz advanced Arcia into scoring position. The Twins took a 2-0 lead and piled on one more run in the 4th inning as Wilkin Ramirez drove in Arcia on a single to center field. After giving up the third run, Hinojosa was pulled after 1 2/3 innings of work and 24-year-old southpaw Robby Scott punched out Jason Bartlett on three pitches to end the inning and save the day.  The Red Sox top of the order came to bat in the bottom half of the 4th inning but could not get anything going as Samuel Deduno retired the side in order.

Andrew Miller then came in the top of the 5th inning. Of course, Miller, is coming off of a year in which his season was decimated by an injury, which sidelined him for the greater part of the 2013 storybook season. The southpaw has been an effective commodity in the Red Sox bullpen the past two seasons, but with the Red Sox stacking the deck with relievers this offseason, Miller needs to showcase that he is healthy and that he is the best option.

Chris Capuano, Drake Britton, Jose Mijares, and Rich Hill will be the lefty relief pitchers that Miller will be vying for an Opening Day spot with.

The big lefty did not get off on the right foot, and in 2/3 innings gave up 3 hits, 3 walks, and 3 runs. Miller’s command was blatantly erratic, but what do you expect with a guy who has not pitched against big league competition in almost eight months? The Red Sox were now down 6-0 to the Twins and the aspirations of winning the inaugural Chairman’s Cup game seemed bleak.

The Red Sox looked like they were cooking up something in the bottom of the 5th, as Mike Napoli singled to center field for his second hit of the game and Will Middlebrooks drew a walk — I was surprised too. The Beantown club wasted the scoring opportunity as David Ross and Jackie Bradley Jr. both went down swinging.

Another interesting reliever came out from the bullpen in the top of the 6th inning; Francisco Cordero. The member of the exclusive 300 save club joined the beards on a minor league deal, seeking redemption after he too missed the 2013 season. Cordero, unlike Miller, pitched very well in his spring debut, giving up 0 runs, albeit 2 hits in one inning of work.

Bryce Brentz hit a solo home run on a fly ball to center in the bottom of the 6th, putting points on the board for Boston. Going into the 7th inning the Red Sox were down 6-1, but that changed fairly quickly when Danny Santana collected an RBI on a ground ball single off of pitcher Chris Resop. The Twins now took a commanding 7-1 advantage.

The 8th inning was very quiet as both teams did not muster a single hit. The Twins furthered the deficit in the top of the 9th scoring yet another run. The Red Sox were down 8-1 going into the final half inning. They had only churned three meager hits, but the Red Sox then strung a couple of hits in the bottom of 9th. Jonathan Herrera and Brandon Snyder hit back-to-back singles, followed by a Mike Carp fly out and a Deven Marrero four pitch walk. Bases loaded, 1 out, bottom of the 9th. Could Walk-off City be rejuvenated in the first “official” spring training game?  Brock Holt then hit a ground out that advanced every runner. The Red Sox now trailed 8-2 with two down in the 9th. Pawtucket player of the year Daniel Butler came up to the plate with a RBI opportunity, but alas, he could not capitalize and the Twins won round one of the Chairman’s Cup.