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Sano's strong spring finish carries into season

MLB.com @RhettBollinger

MINNEAPOLIS -- With 22 strikeouts in 50 at-bats in Spring Training, Miguel Sano showed some worrying signs after changing his mechanics at the plate, lowering his hands and bringing them closer to his body.

But Sano homered twice over his final three spring games, and his strong finish has carried into the season. After homering on Opening Day, Sano was it again on Wednesday, going 1-for-3 with a three-run triple and a walk in the 9-1 win over the Royals. Even his out was a towering fly ball to left to that was caught at the warning track.

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MINNEAPOLIS -- With 22 strikeouts in 50 at-bats in Spring Training, Miguel Sano showed some worrying signs after changing his mechanics at the plate, lowering his hands and bringing them closer to his body.

But Sano homered twice over his final three spring games, and his strong finish has carried into the season. After homering on Opening Day, Sano was it again on Wednesday, going 1-for-3 with a three-run triple and a walk in the 9-1 win over the Royals. Even his out was a towering fly ball to left to that was caught at the warning track.

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"I saw [his confidence] begin to climb the closer we got to the bell ringing," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "Early on, it wasn't particularly good in terms of performance, but it was early in spring. As the final week closed out, he got locked in, and he's carried over the last couple games."

Sano delivered the knockout blow for the Twins, crushing a 1-0 fastball off Nathan Karns off the top of the wall in right-center for a three-run triple that left the bat at 104.8 mph, per Statcast™.

"He's a pull hitter so I wanted it in, and he went the other way with it," Karns said. "He's a strong kid. He took an inside-out swing and almost drove it out of the park."

Video: KC@MIN: Sano snags Perez's scalding line drive

Sano also snared the hardest-hit ball of the day at third, robbing Salvador Perez of a hit on a ball with an exit velocity of 106.3 mph to end the sixth.

"I'm more confident, but it's not like I can say I'm comfortable 100 percent," Sano said. "I'm still trying to pay attention to everything. But I'm ready for everything. I want to play the game and win. That's it."

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast.

Minnesota Twins, Miguel Sano