Twins go long to top Pirates

Twins go long to top Pirates

at Bradenton, Fla.
Saturday, March 8

Twins at the plate: Craig Monroe went deep for the second straight day, the first of back-to-back homers in the third for the Twins. Monroe's blast was followed by a first-pitch homer by Jason Kubel. Minnesota outfielder Jon Knott also homered. First baseman Justin Morneau led the team with three RBIs after driving in one on a sacrifice fly and following that up with a two-run double.

Pirates at the plate: Back-to-back homers from Adam LaRoche and Ryan Doumit in the fourth provided the majority of the offensive production for Pittsburgh. On a day in which the Pirates benefited more from walks and Minnesota errors, Doumit finished the day as the only starter to have two hits.

Twins on the mound: Juan Rincon gets game props for damage control in the fifth, when he retired three straight after inheriting a bases-loaded, no-out situation. The results weren't so encouraging for Brian Duensing, who, after pitching a scoreless third, didn't retire any of the six hitters he faced in the fourth. He issued three walks, hit a batter and gave up two homers. Twins starter Scott Baker pitched two scoreless innings, allowing two hits and striking out three.

Pirates on the mound: Starter Matt Morris labored through three innings, yielding homers on back-to-back pitches in a four-run third inning. In all, the veteran right-hander allowed six hits and two walks while striking out one. Morris was relieved by Paul Maholm, who allowed two runs on three hits in his three frames.

Grapefruit League records: Twins 7-3; Pirates 3-7.

Up next: The Twins will return home to play host to the Yankees on Sunday at 12:05 p.m. CT. It will be the Yanks only trip of the spring to Fort Myers. Minnesota will send Boof Bonser to the mound for the start against New York's Phil Hughes.

The Pirates will travel to Lakeland, Fla., on Sunday to take on the Tigers for the second time this spring. Lefty Phil Dumatrait is slotted to make a four-inning start for the Pirates, and he will be opposed by fellow southpaw Nate Robertson.

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.