Sarasota, FL — The Minnesota Twins gave up 10 hits in a St. Patrick’s Day matchup with the Baltimore Orioles and lost 7-1 in Grapefruit League action at Ed Smith Stadium. J.J. Hardy and Matt Wieters both homered for the Orioles in the fourth and fifth innings, respectively. Chris Davis, the Orioles first baseman, went one for four and celebrated a happy St. Patrick’s Day on his birthday and scored a run. Brandon Boggs, the Twins right fielder, slugged a solo home run in the ninth for Minnesota’s only score of the game.
Hardy’s homer was the shortstop’s first jack of the season and came as he was dropped to the sixth hole in the order. The Baltimore Orioles fielded most of their starters except for outfielders Adam Jones, who is coming off the World Baseball Classic, and Nick Markakis, who is undergoing treatment for a neck injury. Twins superstar Joe Mauer also just returned from WBC action but did not make the trip to Sarasota from Fort Myers. He is expected to play tomorrow, however, against the Miami Marlins. Most of the Twins’ projected starters were in the lineup.
Right-handed starter Steve Johnson — who is trying to break into Baltimore’s regular season rotation — tossed four scoreless for the Orioles, while his counterpart Vance Worley didn’t fare as well for the visiting Twins, giving up three runs on six hits and a walk over four innings. It was Johnson and Johnson for the Orioles as closer Jim Johnson pitched one inning of relief in the fifth. Darren O’Day pitched the sixth, and Jair Jurrjens (formerly of the Atlanta Braves) pitched the final three innings and got the save.
The Orioles players all wore green caps to commemorate St. Patrick’s Day with about 6,000 fans in attendance.
The Twins have an 11-11 Spring Training record after today’s action (7-4 away). The Orioles 13-6 record is tops in Grapefruit League play, and the team has only allowed 85 runs all spring.
In the 2012 season, the Twins finished with a 66-96 record, last place in AL Central. The Orioles had a strong 2012 campaign, culminating in a 93-69 regular season mark, second place in the AL East, and qualified for one of the Wild Card slots. They defeated the Texas Rangers in Wild Card play, but then lost to the New York Yankees in five games. In 2012, the Orioles compiled an unprecedented record for success in one-run ballgames (29-9) and in extra innings (16-2). They obviously hope to keep the momentum going in 2013.