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New team, familiar faces: Odorizzi, LoMo star

Former Rays teammates reunite on Twins roster, enjoy standout debuts
MLB.com @RhettBollinger

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- A pair of former Rays teammates made a big impact for the Twins in their Grapefruit League debuts during a 2-1 win over the Blue Jays on Friday, as right-hander Jake Odorizzi tossed 2 2/3 hitless innings and designated hitter Logan Morrison went 1-for-3 with a stand-up triple to center field.

Odorizzi, who was acquired in a trade that sent shortstop prospect Jermaine Palacios to Tampa Bay on Feb. 17, looked sharp, throwing 48 pitches (29 for strikes). He struck out three and didn't walk any batters, escaping potential damage from two Twins errors, including a dropped popup from shortstop Jorge Polanco in the first and a dropped fly ball from right fielder Max Kepler in the third.

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FORT MYERS, Fla. -- A pair of former Rays teammates made a big impact for the Twins in their Grapefruit League debuts during a 2-1 win over the Blue Jays on Friday, as right-hander Jake Odorizzi tossed 2 2/3 hitless innings and designated hitter Logan Morrison went 1-for-3 with a stand-up triple to center field.

Odorizzi, who was acquired in a trade that sent shortstop prospect Jermaine Palacios to Tampa Bay on Feb. 17, looked sharp, throwing 48 pitches (29 for strikes). He struck out three and didn't walk any batters, escaping potential damage from two Twins errors, including a dropped popup from shortstop Jorge Polanco in the first and a dropped fly ball from right fielder Max Kepler in the third.

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"I was anxious to get out there and get one under my belt," Odorizzi said. "I've been around long enough I think guys were wondering if I was even going to play. So it was nice to get out there and earn my meal money for the day."

Odorizzi, whose fastball sat around 88-91 mph, mixed in plenty of offspeed pitches and was pleased with his changeup and a slow curveball that registered as low as 69 mph on the radar gun.

:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::

"It was a good first outing. I'll take it for sure," Odorizzi said. "I was happy with my changeups. I think that's my biggest takeaway from today. It's been a pretty consistent pitch for me. But it's also just the first one of the spring, and there's room for improvement on location. I was pleasantly surprised with how consistent [the curveball] was. If it's like that all year, I'll be a very happy man."

Odorizzi was also excited to see Morrison play in his first game of the spring after signing a one-year deal worth $5.5 million plus an option on Wednesday, but noted it was nothing new for him, as they played the previous two seasons together with the Rays. Morrison, who hit 38 homers last year, saw nine pitches in his first at-bat before striking out, then followed up that showing with a triple in the fourth and pop-out in foul territory in the seventh.

Video: Logan Morrison introduced with the Twins

"I'm used to seeing [Morrison] in there," Odorizzi said with a smile. "In his first at-bat he saw nine pitches and it was the first time he'd seen live pitching. So that was a pretty impressive AB to start off with."

Twins manager Paul Molitor said he was also impressed by Morrison, as he saw a combined 17 pitches in his three at-bats, even though his triple came on the first pitch. Molitor was also happy to see Morrison reach third without any health issues on the triple, as it was the first time he ran hard with adrenaline pumping in a competitive game setting since last season.

"He got a lot of good swings," Molitor said. "Other than the very first one, he looked on time with everything. I think he wishes he got a little more, because he had a couple good pitches to hit. But it's so early. It's just good he saw a lot of pitches."

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.

Minnesota Twins, Logan Morrison, Jake Odorizzi