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Snell makes last spring start count

Snell makes last spring start count

at Bradenton, Fla.
Tuesday, March 25

Twins at the plate: First baseman Jon Knott roped his third home run of the spring in the top of the second inning. Michael Cuddyer's RBI double in the third brought home Joe Mauer, who also reached base on a double. Jason Kubel doubled to lead off the seventh and scored on a fielder's choice.

Pirates at the plate: The Pirates went hitless for the first three innings until Jason Bay singled up the middle in the fourth and was brought home by Adam LaRoche's double to center field. Ryan Doumit and Xavier Nady followed with back-to-back RBI singles to give the Pirates a 3-2 lead. Luis Rivas hustled for a double in the fifth, when his bloop hit landed in between Twins shortstop Nick Punto and center fielder Craig Monroe. Rivas scored on Jack Wilson's sacrifice bunt.

Twins on the mound: Right-hander Kevin Slowey breezed threw his first three innings before the Pirates scored four runs on six hits in the next two frames. Reliever Juan Rincon pitched a scoreless sixth.

Pirates on the mound: Ian Snell, making his final tuneup start before his Opening Day outing in Atlanta, pitched six innings for the first time this spring. He allowed two earned runs on six hits and struck out four. After giving up a leadoff double and walk, Marino Salas recovered and allowed only one run and struck out one in an inning of relief.

Grapefruit League records: Twins 13-13, Pirates 10-16.

Up next for the Twins: The Twins' Opening Day starter Livan Hernandez will make his final spring outing on Wednesday against the Rays. Hernandez will face off against right-hander James Shields in Fort Myers, Fla., at 12:05 p.m. CT. Also scheduled to pitch for the Twins are Pat Neshek and closer Joe Nathan.

Up next for the Pirates: Lefty Zach Duke will make his final Grapefruit League start this spring as he takes the mound in the Pirates' 1:05 p.m. ET contest against the Tigers on Wednesday. Duke pitched just two innings his last time out after the club's Saturday game against the Rays was cut short because of rain. Detroit will counter with left-hander Dontrelle Willis.

Todd Krise is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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