JUPITER, Fla. -- Twins right-hander Scott Baker made his return to the mound Saturday, pitching 2 2/3 innings in a Minor League game before it was rained out. Baker threw a total of 33 pitches against the Orioles' Triple-A Norfolk club in his start. He threw on the side afterward to get his pitch total around 60 pitches. It was Baker's first game action since March 8, when he left after just two innings due to a strained right lat muscle. The pitcher then suffered another setback this past week when he came down with the flu.
Baker is expected to pitch again in four days, putting him in line to start Wednesday's contest. Livan Hernandez is scheduled to start that game, his last start of the spring, but Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said that it's possible the two pitchers could be flip-flopped. "We'll just have to look and see where we're at," Gardenhire said. "If it's a Minor League game [for Baker], it's a Minor League game. It's just about getting pitches." In addition to Wednesday's start, Baker will get one more start March 30. Gardenhire said the hope is by that point Baker's pitch count will reach somewhere around 90.
Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.