Twins beat up Cards in final spring game

Sunday, April 4, 2010
Cardinals starting pitcher Jaime Garcia delivers during the third inning Saturday in Minneapolis. (ANDY KING ~ Associated Press)

MINNEAPOLIS -- Joe Mauer helped keep going the early home run derby at Target Field.

Mauer and Michael Cuddyer went deep for the Twins in an 8-3 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday that wrapped up spring training for both teams.

It's too early to tell how Minnesota's new ballpark will treat hitters and pitchers, but the warmup weekend drew plenty of raving reviews -- from customers, players and people in between -- ahead of the official opening April 12.

"Just to be out here and look at this stadium and know we're going to get a chance to play here all year long, it sure makes it fun coming to the ballpark," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said.

David Freese homered for the Cardinals, who saw Matt Holliday and Colby Rasmus hit back-to-back shots Friday. Denard Span also went deep in the first game for the Twins, giving Target Field six home runs in two games.

The distances to the outfield walls are similar to the Metrodome, which didn't end up favoring either side too strongly after developing an early reputation as the "Homerdome."

The wind currents, though, will take awhile to figure out.

"I wish we knew," Gardenhire said. "You see the flags blowing one way, and then you stand up there and the wind is hitting you another way. It ought to be entertaining."

Said Freese: "You get the ball up in the air and the wind might push it one way or another, but I think it will be pretty fair."

Albert Pujols went 1 for 3 with a single against Twins starter Kevin Slowey, though the two outs were smashes to left field caught by Delmon Young.

Slowey, recovering from wrist surgery, pitched into the seventh and finished his spring 4-0 with a 1.95 ERA.

Jason LaRue started at catcher for the Cardinals, a late addition to the lineup after being cleared following batting practice. He has been bothered by a bruised left hand, but went 2 for 2 with an RBI.

Starter Yadier Molina, working his way back from a strained muscle on his right side, also took part in pre-game activities and said afterward he's feeling better.

Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said Molina would be re-evaluated today.

"He's been better and better. The fact that he swung today is a good sign," LaRussa said.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: