Sunday, March 2, 2008

Twins live to fight another day

When his Hall of Fame career comes to a close many years from now, today's outing will be a footnote to a footnote in the legend of Clay Buchholz. But for the second consecutive day a young Sox starter struggled in his first outing of spring. It began promisingly enough for Clay: A heater fouled back, followed by a crisp curve called for a strike to get ahead 0-2 on the first man he faced. But then Twins non-roster invitee, Jon Knott, took a curve for a ball and proceeded to send Buchholz's 1-2 fastball out on a rope over the left field wall. Buchholz would go on to give up four more hits (a couple of bloops) and walk a batter while allowing four runs in his first inning of work. Somewhat surprisingly, Francona sent him back out for a second inning, in which Buchholz seemed to hit his stride, retiring the side in order.

Corey, Okajima, Lopez, and Delcarmen each pitched an inning of shutout relief. And then it was Craig Hansen's turn in the ninth. Three walks, two hits, and four earned runs for the onetime closer-in-waiting. Tough day with the lumber for the Sox, their lone extra base hits coming on Lowell's solo home run and Ortiz's double. 8-2 final score.

In spoiling the Sox' home opener the Twins have crawled back into Mayor's Cup 2008. They now trail the series 2-1, with the teams set to square off in Friday's split squad game four. In case you're curious (and why wouldn't you be?) the Twins have won ten Mayor's Cups to the Sox' five. Orsillo told me so. It would appear that Fort Myers is Twins Nation.

No comments: