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3.01.2007

Spring Fever

Twins 4, Red Sox 4

Wouldn't you know, my and Lizzy's first rivalry of the season would end in a tie. Matt Garza, the Twins' minor league pitcher of the year last season, pitched two scoreless innings, making a positive impression for his bid on the team's rotation while striking out Big Papi on a slider in the first inning.

The Twins had taken a 1-0 lead in the third against Boston's closer candidate Joel Pineiro on a single by Jason Bartlett, a throwing error by Julio Lugo at short, then an RBI single by Rondell White.

The Red Sox went ahead 4-1 against Scott Baker with two runs in both the third and fourth innings. Lugo and Ortiz singled in runs in the third and Jacoby Ellsbury doubled home two in the fourth. Curt Schilling allowed two hits for Boston before Julian Tavarez gave up a three-run shot in the fifth to AL batting champ Joe Mauer.

The Twins almost took the lead in the ninth, but right fielder Alex Ochoa turned a double play by catching Alexi Casilla's fly ball and throwing out Luis Rodriguez at home after he tagged up. Ochoa, showing off a prospective cannon, also threw out a runner at second in the fifth.

Center fielder Torii Hunter is day-to-day after bending a fingernail back while sliding.

Cardinals 6, Marlins 3

World Series closer Adam Wainwright pitched three hitless innings for the St. Louis Cardinals Wednesday to help beat the Florida Marlins 6-3 in the exhibition opener for both teams.

Wainwright, who earned the win, walked one, but used only 30 pitches - 15 strikes - to get through the first 10 batters. After filling in for an injured Jason Isringhausen last October, allowing no earned runs in 9.2 posteseason innings, Wainwright will likely be a starter this season, unless Isringhausen suffers a setback in his rehab from hip surgery.

Former Cardinals left-handed pitcher-turned outfielder Rick Ankiel went 2-for-2 with a two-run single but was thrown out at the plate twice, as he bids for a spot on the roster.

Florida lefty starter Scott Olsen took the loss, allowing one run and four hits in 1.2 innings and Ricky Nolasco pitched two scoreless innings for the Marlins.

Rockies 12, White Sox 4

Competing for Colorado's #1 starter spot, Aaron Cook allowed one hit in two scoreless innings Wednesday, helping the Rockies start the exhibition season with a 12-4 victory over the White Sox.

Chicago's Mark Buehrle, on the other hand, allowed four runs and six hits in the first two innings, while Jon Garland gave up seven runs - six earned - and eight hits in the next two innings.

Outfielder Brad Hawpe just pounded the ball off those two: a two-run double off Buehrle and a double and a single against Garland. Matt Holliday went 2-for-3 with a single and a two-run homer, while Garrett Atkins and Javy Lopez had two hits apiece for the Marlins.

Joe Crede and Juan Uribe each had two hits for the White Sox.

Bobby Jenks, who led the South Siders with 41 saves last year, hit Jayson Nix and walked another batter before being taken out after just nine pitches due to tightness in his right shoulder. He'll be evaluated Thursday.

[MLB] and [MiLB]

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