When it comes to Spring Training, the final score is irrelevant. Ultimately the reason each game is played is for players to renew their swings and tune up their arms for the start of the season that matters -- the regular season.
So the fact that the Minnesota Twins knocked off the Boston Red Sox by a final score of 5-2 to open their spring season isn't necessarily earth shattering. Other than taking a 1-0 series lead in the 2009 Fort Myers Mayor's Cup, the game won't be remembered a month from now.
On with the game...
** Glen Perkins took the hill for the Twins for the first time in the New Year, and other than surrendering two lone hits, Perkins held the Red Sox to two scoreless innings on the day. Perkins is set to be the team's fourth starter this upcoming season.
** Hitting wise, the main Twins' got off to a hot start. Justin Morneau collected the first team hit of the preseason, and the Twins put three runs on the board off Red Sox starter Tim Wakefield in the second inning and never looked back.
** Alexi Casilla and Delmon Young each collected hits while Brian Buscher went 2-2 on the night to make an early case to be the left-handed bat off the bench in '09.
** After Perkins pitched two solid innings, Jesse Crain took the mound. Crain showed signs of promise in his lone inning, allowing just a hit, and more importantly, hitting 95 MPH on the radar gun -- proving to be pretty healthy thus far.
** Joe Nathan ran into a bit of trouble in his first trip to the field. Nathan allowed a run on two hits and struggled with control. The newly signed Luis Ayala was up next and allowed a single hit in an impressive first outing.
** Denard Span and Carlos Gomez were nowhere to be seen. Both sat out the spring opener. Meanwhile, Crede missed the game as Gardenhire gives him more time to prepare; he's expected to play Friday. Ayala, Crain and Nathan all appeared, but may not for weeks ahead as they'll each participate in the WBC.