Backed by blasts, Nolasco settles, stretches out

Fryer, Arcia hit two-run HRs; Twins starter goes six after serving up consecutive shots in first

Backed by blasts, Nolasco settles, stretches out

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Ricky Nolasco settled down after a rocky first frame to turn in a quality start, while Eric Fryer and Oswaldo Arcia both connected on two-run homers to help lead the Twins to a 6-5 win over the Orioles on Sunday at Ed Smith Stadium.

Nolasco gave up a two-run shot to center field to Adam Jones before promptly giving up a solo blast to Travis Snider, giving the Orioles back-to-back homers and an early 3-0 lead in the first inning.

"I kind of picked the wrong day to give up fly balls," Nolasco said with a smile. "I'd been getting ground balls all spring, but gave up some fly balls today with the wind blowing. I just tried to limit the damage from there and get my work in."

But Nolasco got on track after that, retiring 10 in a row before allowing a leadoff single to Jonathan Schoop in the fifth inning. Schoop ended up coming around to score on a throwing error from Danny Santana with two outs.

Nolasco went six innings, giving up four runs (three earned) on five hits and two walks in his second-to-last outing of the spring.

He outlasted Orioles right-hander Miguel Gonzalez, who went 5 2/3 innings, surrendering five runs on seven hits and a walk. It was his first free pass issued this spring. The righty also struck out five.

"I did [settle in]," Gonzalez said. "Towards the end, [Chris] Tillman talked to me and told me I was throwing down a little bit on my offspeed, and then I speeded up and I felt a lot better. But the guys weren't getting good swings after the third inning, so I felt pretty good at the end."

The Twins got on the board with a two-run homer in the second from Fryer, who is competing for the backup catcher job with Josmil Pinto and Chris Herrmann.

Minnesota scored two more runs in the third, when Santana led off the frame with a single, stole second base and scored on a double from Eduardo Nunez. Nunez scored on a single from Kennys Vargas, but Vargas was thrown out at second trying to stretch it to a double.

After Gonzalez departed with two outs in the fifth and Vargas at first base after a one-out walk, reliever David Hess came in and served up a two-run blast to center to Arcia to give the Twins a 6-4 lead.

Twins right-hander Tim Stauffer gave up a solo homer to Mike Yastrzemski to lead off the bottom of the eighth and make it 6-5.

Up next: Right-hander Kyle Gibson, who is lined up to be the No. 4 starter in the Twins' rotation, is set to start against the Red Sox at JetBlue Park on Monday at 6:05 p.m. CT, live on MLB.TV. Other pitchers scheduled to see action include Brian Duensing and Rule 5 pick J.R. Graham.

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.