JUPITER, Fla. (AP) — Tommy Milone bolstered his bid for a spot in Minnesota’s starting rotation with four shutout innings in the Twins’ 5-3 win over the Cardinals on Monday.
Mike Leake, in his second start of the spring, struck out six and allowed one hit in his four innings for St. Louis. The righty threw 38 of his 54 pitches for strikes.
Yadier Molina made his third spring start, but once again didn’t swing the bat in his only plate appearance. Recovering from two offseason thumb surgeries, Molina has yet to be cleared to hit in games. He struck out watching a 2-2 fastball into the glove of Twins catcher John Hicks and was lifted for a pinch hitter in the fifth.
Minnesota took the lead for good on Max Kepler’s two-out RBI single to center in the top of the seventh, breaking a 2-2 tie.
Twins touched up Leake’s replacement, Seth Maness, for two runs in the fifth – the second run scoring when Jorge Polanco’s hot shot to first took a bad hop, forcing first baseman Matt Holliday to knock the ball down before it hit him in the head. Eduardo Escobar raced around from second base, scoring while the Cardinals retrieved the ball.
Holliday helped the Cardinals get that run back with a bases-loaded sacrifice fly in the sixth.
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