This was easily Minnesota's most impressive day of the spring. Eighteen hits. One run allowed. Wow.
To consider the bulk of the offense came against Willis is all the more impressive. All six of the runs against the young lefty were earned.
Even so, Boof Bonser might have been the bigger story. In his quest to earn a spot in the Opening Day rotation, the Tampa native faced the minimum over four innings.
On the offensive side, Torii Hunter led the way. He went 3-for-3, including his third double this spring.
Just a complete effort.
Come back and see me Tuesday at 1:05. I'll do a running scorecard as long as Santana is in the game.
MINNESOTA 9, FLORIDA 1
W: Bonser (1-1), L: Willis (0-2).
HR: Jacobs, FLA (1); 3B: Sanchez, FLA (1); 2B: Bartlett, MIN (2), Harvey, MIN (1), Hunter, MIN (3), LeCroy (2).
Minnesota 8, Florida 0; top of the fifth
Minnesota touched Willis for six runs on nine hits, flying out of the gate for a 6-0 lead through three innings. Since then, the Twins have added two more runs.
Jesse Crain has entered for Bonser, who continued what has been a mid-spring uprising for the Twins arms. This is a surprise, however, since Matt Garza was listed as Bonser's backup for today.
Redmond, who was hit by a pitch in the first inning, is the only Minnesota starter without a base hit. Amazing. Then again, it was only a matter of time before the offense got rolling.
Another great crowd this afternoon at Hammond Stadium. I was told the other day that the Twins could eclipse the spring attendance record they set a year ago.
And to think, Johan Santana will start Tuesday here against the St. Louis Cardinals, the World Series champs. Nobody will show up to watch that, I'm sure.
Keep checking back.
I saw Dontrelle Willis (a photograph of him, anyway) in my mailbox last week. He was featured on the cover of the latest issue of Sports Illustrated, in which the magazine explores the obstacles sports might face because of global warming.
Well, I saw Willis again this morning .... this time, in the Florida Marlins clubhouse. He will start on the hill today against a Minnesota offense that is suddenly hot.
Sunday in Dunedin, the Twins bats came alive for eight runs on 12 hits. After sputtering along for the early part of the spring, Minnesota has now scored 19 runs in three games.
Boof Bonser starts for the Twins.
Minnesota catcher Mike Redmond, who bats third today, was at the center of the media frenzy this morning. He spent the first 12 years of his pro career in the Marlins organization, and won a World Series ring in 2003 as Ivan Rodriguez's's backup. Friendly guy with a zillion stories to tell.
We also had some news this morning. Nothing major, but the Twins announced that pitcher Brad Voyles, catchers Jeff Christy, Korey Feiner and Jose Morales and infielder Gil Velazquez have been reassigned to Minor League camp. Meanwhile, pitchers Ricky Barrett, Oswaldo Sosa and Alexander Smit have been optioned to Triple-A Rochester, Double-A New Britain and Single-A Fort Myers, respectively.
See ya in a little bit. With the Marlins down in order to start, Willis is on the mound for the bottom of the first.
Guess who's pitching for Florida? Should be a fun day.
FLORIDA: SS Ramirez, 2B Uggla, LF Borchard, 1B Jacobs, RF Ross, DH Abercrombie, 3B Seabol, CF Sanchez, C Treanor, LHP Willis.
MINNESOTA: 2B Castillo, 3B Punto, C Redmond, RF Cuddyer, 1B Morneau, CF Hunter, LF White, DH Harvey, SS Bartlett, RHP Bonser.