Grapefruit League: Twins Over Cards 6-3
UPITER, Fla. (Twinsbaseball.com) -- A four-run sixth highlighted by Miguel Sano's two-run homer boosted the Twins to a 6-3 win over the Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium on Saturday.
After allowing the game-tying run in his first inning of relief, Cardinals lefty Tyler Lyons was knocked around for four more when he returned to the mound. Lyons allowed stolen bases to Aaron Hicks and Eduardo Nunez, watched the go-ahead run score on a wild pitch and then served up Sano's blast. It was Sano's second homer of the spring.
Randal Grichuk gave the Cardinals an early lead when he crushed a solo homer off the deck of a building beyond the left-field wall. It was Grichuk's third homer in 14 spring at-bats and his second off a right-handed pitcher.
Minnesota's Ricky Nolasco otherwise navigated three innings pretty uneventfully. He allowed three other hits (all singles) and struck out two while throwing 29 of his 49 pitches for strikes.
"It was fine," Nolasco said. "Felt good the whole time. Had to make some pitches. They're always a tough team to pitch against. They're always grinding at-bats. It was a good test. Just work on things."
Cardinals starter Michael Wacha tossed three scoreless innings and increased his spring strikeout total to six with two more against the Twins. Wacha has not allowed a run in six Grapefruit League innings.
Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina had his first multi-hit game of the spring, while Chris Herrmann and Josmil Pinto finished with two and three hits, respectively, for Minnesota. Their back-to-back singles to open the fifth against Cardinals reliever Tyler Lyons set the Twins up to score their first run when Shane Robinson grounded into a double play.
Mark Reynolds, who made his first outfield appearance of the spring, connected for his second spring home run in the sixth.
The Cardinals managed one more run in the bottom of the ninth with a bases-loaded walk by Stephen Piscotty to bring the score to 6-3.
Up next: Right-hander Kyle Gibson will make his third start of the spring when the Twins host the Cardinals on Sunday at 12:05 p.m. CT. Gibson has given up two runs on five hits in five innings for a 3.60 ERA. Also scheduled to pitch is righty Tim Stauffer, who signed a one-year deal with Minnesota over the offseason.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com.