Opening Day starter tosses four scoreless innings; Arcia hits solo homer
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- In an error-riddled game, it was a bobbled ball by Joe Mauer at first base with the bases loaded that allowed the Pirates to come away with a 2-1 win over the Twins on Wednesday at Hammond Stadium.
The Pirates loaded the bases with one out in the top of the eighth inning after three straight singles off of Twins reliever Caleb Thielbar. A chopper to first off the bat of Travis Snider with two outs proved to be too much for Mauer to handle, as Snider was able to beat out the throw and two runs scored in the process.
An error in the bottom of the seventh inning looked like it would cost the Pirates a win. Pittsburgh catcher Tony Sanchez camped under right fielder Oswaldo Arcia's popup behind home plate, only to bobble it and then drop it. With new life, Arcia then smacked a solo home run to right field to give the Twins a 1-0 lead.
"It was a pretty clean ballgame up until the end," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We just bobbled the ball at first base. Arcia's home run was great too. We put some good swings on the ball."
Both teams bats were held quiet for the first six innings, with the clubs combining for just four hits.
Ricky Nolasco dominated in his final tuneup before he takes the hill on Opening Day against the White Sox in Chicago. He allowed just one hit and one walk in four innings. He also struck out three.
"I have been ready for about two weeks now," Nolasco said. "I've felt good all spring."
Pirates right-hander Brandon Cumpton allowed two hits in five innings. He also struck out four and walked one in his last Grapefruit League start. Cumpton finished the spring with a 1-0 record and 2.21 ERA in six outings (two starts).
Up Next: Right-hander Kevin Correia gets the nod for the Twins on Thursday in a 7:05 p.m. ET matchup against the Red Sox at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers, Fla. He'll face right-hander John Lackey. Correia is 1-2 during the spring with a 6.00 ERA.