The Minnesota Twins' offense sputtered Thursday in a 4-1 loss to a Baltimore Orioles split-squad.
SARASOTA, Fla. — Adam Jones drove in two runs with a home run and double and Mike Wright pitched five scoreless innings as a Baltimore Orioles split-squad beat the Minnesota Twins 4-1 on Thursday night.
Jones homered leading off the fourth and doubled to drive in Manny Machado in the sixth. Mark Trumbo’s single in the sixth drove in the third run.
Wright became the first Orioles starter to pitch five innings. He didn’t allow a run and gave up four hits, striking out two and walking none.
Taylor Rogers started for Minnesota and threw two scoreless innings. Rogers, who has a chance to make the Twins as a set-up man, was helped out in the first when center fielder Max Kepler made two outstanding catches on balls hit by Machado and Trumbo.
Baltimore lost the afternoon portion of the split-squad at Boston 9-5.
The Orioles are now 4-12-3 but have played noticeably better this week.
"As we get closer to the bell, there’s a time you get engaged in the preparation and then you get engaged in the competition," manager Buck Showalter said.
Twins: RHP Phil Hughes pitched five innings in a minor-league game against Triple-A Durham. The young hitters of the Tampa Bay affiliate were aggressive.
"That’s kind of the M.O. when you go over there. They’re going to attack," manager Paul Molitor said. "When you go there you’re going to be ambushed a little bit. I don’t think he wants to go back."
RHPs Trevor May and Kevin Jepsen also pitched in the minor-league game.
May, who has been told he’ll be in the bullpen instead of starting, will soon be pitching on consecutive days, Molitor said
RHP Ricky Nolasco starts in a minor-league game on Friday.
Orioles: Showalter recently told Wright that the five starting spots for the team aren’t necessarily decided.
"I felt like that ever since I came in. Everything’s a competition, even if there were five set spots, there was no telling what happens," Wright said.
Twins: OF Byron Buxton missed a second day with flu-like symptoms.
"I think he came into the park and checked in, but rather quickly. Kind of see how he feels tomorrow," Molitor said.
Molitor joked when asked his timeline for Buxton’s return.
"Let me check my medical journal. I’m optimistic he gets a little baseball work in and we can eventually think about bringing him back Saturday. I don’t want to force him out there before he’s ready to play," he said.
OF Danny Santana (wrist) took batting practice, and he’s been cleared to play. He’s been out since Mar. 10
Orioles: INF/OF Jimmy Paredes (wrist), who hasn’t played since March 3, thinks he could return in about a week.
"Maybe I can play in a couple games before spring training (ends). It depends on how I feel when I start swinging," Paredes said.
Twins: RHP Tyler Duffey pitches for Minnesota as it visits the Boston Red Sox. RHP Rick Porcello starts for Boston.
Orioles: RHP Miguel Gonzalez gets his fourth start of the spring against the New York Yankees in Tampa. CC Sabathia pitches for the Yankees.