Mauer’s error at 1B costs Twins against Pirates
FORT MYERS, Fla. — Twins first baseman Joe Mauer’s error in the eighth inning led to two runs that lifted the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 2-1 victory over Minnesota on Wednesday.
Mauer, who has three more spring training games to complete his conversion from a three-time Gold Glove-winning catcher to a full-time first baseman, bobbled a ball hit by Travis Snider with two outs and the bases loaded. The error allowed Tito Polo and Jordy Mercer to score the tying and go-ahead runs.
Oswaldo Arcia hit a solo home run, his second of spring training, for the Twins off Pirates left-hander Tony Watson.
STARTING TIME: Ricky Nolasco, Minnesota’s opening day starter, struck out three in four scoreless innings, giving up one walk and one hit in his final outing of the spring.
"He pitched great," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He threw the ball very, very well. He’s feeling really confident, and I’m really confident. He took himself out basically and said he felt good."
Nolasco started on opening day last season for the Miami Marlins and in 2009 for the Marlins as well.
"It’s an honor," Nolasco said. "I’ll just go out there like I have my whole career. Everybody’s excited to get it going."
Nolasco said he felt polished enough to end the outing after four innings. He finished spring training with a 5.50 ERA in five starts.
"It’s the last start of spring," said Nolasco, whose Twins open at division rival Chicago on Monday. "I was just trying to go four innings. I’ve been ready for about two weeks now. I’ve felt good all spring. I’m ready to go."
Twins shortstop Pedro Florimon continued his accelerated spring training, having been limited to seven games following an emergency appendectomy. Florimon went 0-for-3 on Wednesday and is hitting .150 (3 for 20).
"I’m going to need a few more at-bats to get ready for the season," Florimon said. "I’ve just been working hard every day."