Pirates fall to Twins
FORT MYERS, Fla. – Cole De Vries knows he’s pitching for a job.
Trying to earn a spot in Minnesota’s rotation, De Vries gave up one run and three hits in three innings Saturday during the Twins’ 2-1 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates.
“I’m going out there every day and competing like one of those spots is mine to lose, and go out there and attack as much as I can,” he said. “I really feel that if I pitch my game I will have one of those spots.”
De Vries is 2-0 with a 0.90 ERA in 10 innings. Still, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire wasn’t pleased De Vries threw 60 pitches and walked two.
“You have to do better,” Gardenhire said.
Gardenhire also said De Vries was more impressive in his four previous outings. Coming in, De Vries had walked one in seven innings.
“I was kind of struggling a little bit with my control,” De Vries said. “But I got through it. That’s what matters.”
De Vries was 5-5 with a 4.11 ERA last year in 17 games for the Twins.
“I think it did a ton,” he said. “This isn’t a brand new big league experience. … This isn’t anything compared to when you got to do in the season and there are 40,000 people in the stands.”
He allowed a pair of leadoff doubles, both to Alex Presley.
“You go out there and that lead off guy either gets a base hit or a double, you’re kind of on your heels a little bit.”
Top Pirates prospect Gerrit Cole allowed one run and five hits in four innings, struck out four and walked none. The top pick in the 2011 amateur draft, Cole has a 3.60 ERA this spring training in three appearances over 10 innings.
Gaby Sanchez hit a sacrifice fly in the first, but Josh Willingham’s RBI grounder tied the score in the bottom half. Brandon Boggs, a non-roster invitee to Twins camp, hit a go-ahead single off Kris Johnson with two outs in the eighth.
Twins centerfield prospect Aaron Hicks led off the game with a single, stole second and scored on Willingham’s grounder. Hicks is batting .333 (15 for 45).
Twins C Joe Mauer and LHP Glen Perkins are back with the team following the eliminated of the U.S. at the World Baseball Classic. Mauer is scheduled to play today against Baltimore at Sarasota. … Twins GM Terry Ryan said the center field job likely won’t be decided until the end of spring training. The candidates are Hicks, Joe Benson and Darin Mastroianni. … The Twins optioned OF Oswaldo Arcia to Triple-A Rochester (IL). He hit .188 with a double and eight strikeouts in five big league games during spring training.