Mauer, Plouffe connect against Orioles

Mauer, Plouffe connect against Orioles

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Joe Mauer and Trevor Plouffe each hit a two-run homer to help lead the split-squad Twins to a 5-1 win over the Orioles on Tuesday at Hammond Stadium.

Mauer was the first to go deep, hitting his two-run blast to left off Orioles starter Mike Wright in the first inning. It was the first homer of the spring for Mauer, who was wearing sunglasses at the plate, an experiment for him after he dealt with vision issues the last two seasons related to his season-ending concussion in 2013.

Wright started for Baltimore and went four innings, allowing three runs on five hits and a walk with three strikeouts.

"Mechanics felt just a little bit off, but I thought I settled in," Wright said. "In the first inning, I thought there were a couple times I was rushing to the plate, but altogether I felt pretty solid today."

Plouffe added a two-run shot in the fifth off reliever Odrisamer Despaigne. It was the second homer for Plouffe in Grapefruit League play.

The Twins also scored in the fourth on an RBI double from Oswaldo Arcia that plated Carlos Quentin, who led off the inning with a double. Arcia, who is out of Minor League options, and Quentin, who didn't play last season, are competing for a spot on the roster as an extra outfielder.

Left-hander Logan Darnell started for the Twins, as they used only relievers with starter Phil Hughes getting the nod in their split-squad game against the Phillies in Clearwater. Darnell, who is competing to be the club's lefty reliever, tossed two perfect innings, with two strikeouts.

"I've started a lot in my career, so it was an easy transition," Darnell said. "It wasn't that big of a deal to start the game. I felt more like I was just the first reliever."

The Orioles got on the board in the third on an RBI double by Joey Rickard that scored Dariel Alvarez. Catcher Caleb Joseph went 2-for-3 for Baltimore.

Up next for Orioles: Miguel Gonzalez will take the mound in the first of a two-game set against the Pirates. Baltimore will travel to Bradenton for Wednesday's 1:05 p.m. ET matchup.

Up next for Twins: Right-hander Ricky Nolasco is set to start on Wednesday at 12:05 p.m. CT against the Rays at home. Nolasco, who is competing for the fifth spot in the rotation, has a 7.36 ERA in three outings this spring. Other pitchers scheduled to see action include closer Glen Perkins, Casey Fien and Fernando Abad.

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