Morneau homers for Twins in 2-1 loss to Red Sox
Minnesota Twins' Justin Morneau runs after hitting bases loaded double to bring in three runs in the fourth inning of an exhibition spring training baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Monday, Feb. 25, 2013, Fort Myers, Fla. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
FORT MYERS, Fla. – The next time Justin Morneau steps into the batter’s box he’ll be representing Canada in the World Baseball Classic.
Morneau homered in his final game with Minnesota before leaving for the WBC, but the Twins lost to the Boston Red Sox, 2-1, yesterday.
Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz threw 40 pitches in 11∕3 innings. He walked two and went to three balls on four of his seven batters. Buchholz said he was “amped up” for his first Grapefruit League game this spring.
Morneau, the 2006 AL MVP, led off the fourth inning with a drive that landed in a pond behind the right-field wall at Hammond Stadium. After the game he was scheduled to fly out of Fort Myers to join his Canadian teammates in Arizona.
Morneau can tell expectations for early March are different just by looking at his phone.
“I’ve been getting a lot of text messages from people at home,” said Morneau, a native of British Columbia, where he also played youth hockey as well as baseball.
Juan Carlos Linares went deep for Boston off starter Kyle Gibson, and the Red Sox took a 2-1 lead in the fifth when Jonathan Diaz scored on Ryan Sweeney’s single.
The loss snapped a five-game winning streak for the Twins. Boston has won three consecutive games.
∎ It was the first of eight games the teams will play against each other this spring in a 28-day span.
∎ The game-time temperature of 57 degrees was 22 degrees below the average high for March 2 in Fort Myers.