Red Sox 2, Twins 1
The next time Justin Morneau steps into the batter’s box he’ll
be representing Canada in the World Baseball Classic.
Morneau homered in his final game with Minnesota before leaving
for the WBC, but the Twins lost to the Boston Red Sox 2-1 on
”A good way to go,” Morneau said.
The 2006 AL MVP led off the fourth inning with a drive that
landed in a pond behind the right-field wall at Hammond Stadium.
After the game he was scheduled to fly out of Fort Myers to join
his Canadian teammates in Arizona.
Although the first week of March is typically a time for
veterans such as Morneau to ease into form, he knows things will be
different in the WBC.
”I know I have to be ready,” Morneau said.
He can tell expectations for early March are different just by
looking at his phone.
”I’ve been getting a lot of text messages from people at
home,” said Morneau, a native of British Columbia, where he also
played youth hockey as well as baseball.
That hockey background is something he’ll probably have in
common with many of his teammates on Team Canada.
”I’m sure we’ll talk more hockey than baseball,” Morneau
Juan Carlos Linares went deep for Boston off starter Kyle
Gibson, and the Red Sox took a 2-1 lead in the fifth when Jonathan
Diaz scored on Ryan Sweeney’s single.
Linares has yet to play in the major leagues.
”Four-seamer away,” Gibson said. ”He squared it up pretty
Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz threw 40 pitches in 1 1-3 innings.
He walked two and went to three balls on four of his seven batters.
Buchholz said he was ”amped up” for his first Grapefruit League
game this spring.
The loss snapped a five-game winning streak for the Twins.
Boston has won three consecutive games.
Attendance was 6,591 on a windy, 57-degree day.
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said Morneau is further ahead in
spring training than he has been in years. In recent springs,
Morneau was rehabbing from concussions. This offseason he was able
to train as hard as he once did.
”It makes a difference,” Gardenhire said.
Yes, indeed. Morneau is hitting .471 this spring.
Saturday’s game was also the final one before the WBC for two
Twins on the United States team: catcher Joe Mauer and pitcher Glen
Mauer, who said he was scheduled to fly out Sunday morning, was
1 for 3 and caught the first five innings. This will be Mauer’s
first WBC. He is looking forward to wearing the Team USA uniform on
a big stage.
”That’s it right there – representing your country,” Mauer
said. ”You don’t get many opportunities to do that.”
Mauer said he’s had opportunities to participate in the previous
two WBCs but had to decline because of injuries. As he went through
offseason workouts he was aware of the WBC and the
earlier-than-normal start of spring training.
”It was kind of in the back of my mind,” Mauer said. ”I saw
that we had a couple of weeks’ worth of games before we started so
I kind of used that, catching a little more innings than I normally
He was happy Morneau homered against the Red Sox but hopes he
doesn’t duplicate that against the U.S. team.
”I’m glad he got that out of the way,” Mauer said.
Perkins’ final outing before the WBC was strong. He pitched a
hitless inning and struck out two.
”It’s humbling more than anything,” Perkins said of being on
the U.S. team.
He acknowledged he’s not as well-known as many of his WBC
teammates, like Mauer.
”I’m looking to ride the coattails,” Perkins said.
This will be his first WBC and he’s not sure if it’s a big
”I don’t know,” Perkins said. ”I guess I’ll find out.”
He doesn’t even know if the members of the winning team get
medals or rings of trophies.
”I’m going to bring back some T-shirts, I know that,” he
NOTES: It was the first of eight games the teams will play
against each other this spring in a 28-day span. … The game-time
temperature was 22 degrees below the average high for March 2 in