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Twins top Cards 7-6 on Valencia's homer in 8th

March 10, 2010
From AP wire reports

Minnesota third base prospect Danny Valencia hit the go-ahead home run in the eighth inning and the Twins beat the St. Louis Cardinals 7-6 on Tuesday.

Brendan Harris and Nick Punto are competing for the starting job at third base, but Valencia is coming up behind them. His long shot over the left field fence gave the Twins the lead on a day marked by bad news of a torn ligament in All-Star closer Joe Nathan's throwing elbow.

Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright struggled, allowing five hits, four runs and two walks in two innings. He had some help from Matt Holliday's RBI double in the first. Colby Rasmus also hit a two-run homer in the fifth.

Article Photos

Minnesota Twins’ Denard Span rounds third on Justin Morneau’s first-inning double Tuesday against the St. Louis Cardinals at Hammond Stadium. More photos from the game are available online at:

Justin Morneau hit a two-run double for the Twins, and Joe Mauer added an RBI single.

Red Sox 9, Marlins 0: Tim Wakefield pitched three shutout innings to keep his spring training ERA at 0.00 for Boston.

Wakefield allowed two hits, both singles, and walked none in his second appearance of the spring. Preparing for his 18th major-league season, he threw 22 of 30 pitches for strikes.

Former Marlin Jeremy Hermida singled home a run in the first inning for his first RBI with Boston. Florida starter Anibal Sanchez allowed five runs, four earned, in 2 1/3 innings.

Rays 8, Orioles 3: Jeff Niemann pitched four innings and Evan Longoria drove in two runs for Tampa Bay.

Niemann allowed one run and two hits. He needed just 36 pitches to become the first Rays player to go four innings this spring.

Chris Tillman pitched 2 1/3 innings, yielding two runs, one earned, and four hits for Baltimore, which has lost six straight.

Tigers 9, Nationals 4: Top prospect Stephen Strasburg made his spring training debut, pitching two scoreless innings in Washington's loss to Detroit.

Strasburg threw 15 of his 27 pitches for strikes and allowed two hits, successive two-out singles by Don Kelly and Alex Avila in the second. But the right-hander finished off Brent Dlugach with a bending, 81 mph breaking ball for an inning-ending strikeout.

Strasburg was selected with the No. 1 overall pick in last year's draft and received a record $15.1 million, four-year contract from the Nationals. He went 13-1 in his final season with San Diego State, leading Division I pitchers in ERA (1.35) and strikeouts (195 in 109 innings).

Pirates 12, Yankees 7: Nick Johnson hit two home runs for New York, but CC Sabathia gave up five runs in his second start of the spring.

Sabathia gave up a three-run homer to Garrett Jones and allowed seven hits. He threw 55 pitches, 34 strikes, a marked improvement over his first outing: 19 strikes, 17 balls.

Jones also had a double, and Lastings Milledge had an RBI single in the four-run first for Pittsburgh.

Angels 6, Padres 5: Hideki Matsui made his spring debut for Los Angeles, getting a single in two trips to the plate.

Matsui struck out against Chris Young in the first and grounded Radhames Liz's 3-1 pitch up the middle for a hit in the fourth.

Matsui agreed to a $6 million, one-year contract with the Angels in December after spending seven seasons with the New York Yankees. He hit .274 with 28 homers and 90 RBI last year, then was selected World Series MVP despite starting only three of six games against Philadelphia.

Brewers 5, Cubs 3: Joe Inglett hit a two-run homer with two outs in the ninth inning to lift Milwaukee.

Randy Wells pitched three innings of one-hit ball for the Cubs. He picked off the only man who reached base, meaning he and fellow starters Carlos Zambrano and Ryan Dempster have combined to pitch to the minimum 27 batters in their four outings.

Jeff Suppan gave up three runs on five hits in three innings - the first runs allowed by any of Milwaukee's five starters this spring.

Indians 6, Mariners 4: Jason Vargas pitched into the fourth inning in another impressive outing, and Franklin Gutierrez hit a two-run triple for Seattle.

Vargas allowed two hits, walked one and struck out one in 3 2/3 scoreless innings. The 27-year-old left-hander threw 49 pitches and became the first Mariners pitcher to reach the fourth.

Aaron Laffey pitched two scoreless innings for Cleveland, and Wes Hodges had a pair of two-run doubles.

Astros 8, Mets 4: Johan Santana struggled in his first game since August, allowing four runs on six hits in 1 2/3 innings for New York.

Kaz Matsui hit a solo homer for the first of four straight hits in the first inning off Santana, who struck out one and walked one.

Brett Myers gave up two runs on four hits in three innings, including a two-run homer to David Wright in the first, and Pedro Feliz added a two-run shot for Houston.

Rangers 9, Athletics (ss) 9: Rich Harden breezed through the first two innings but never finished the third in his second outing with Texas.

Harden gave up four runs on two hits in 2 2/3 innings. He struck out four, walked three and threw a wild pitch in the Rangers' 8-8 tie with an Oakland Athletics split squad.

After walking Ryan Sweeney, and a visit to the mound, Harden gave up Kevin Kouzmanoff's three-run home run that cleared the billboards in left field.

Max Stassi, the A's 18-year-old catcher, also homered for Oakland.

Rockies 12, Dodgers 0: Ubaldo Jimenez showed little rust with three scoreless innings for Colorado.

Jimenez gave up one hit with two strikeouts - but he did walk three batters.

Seth Smith had a pair of hits and three RBI for Colorado, which pounded out 16 hits.

Dodgers starter Hiroki Kuroda gave up two runs, one earned, on two hits over two innings of his first spring start.

Giants 6, White Sox 2: Mark DeRosa lined a sharp single over shortstop Omar Vizquel's head in his debut at-bat after being limited following October wrist surgery.

Fred Lewis and Buster Posey hit consecutive homers in the eighth for San Francisco. Lewis' drive was a two-run shot.

White Sox starter John Danks struck out four over three scoreless innings. He hasn't given up a run in his five spring innings.

Diamondbacks 10, Reds 4: Justin Upton hit a two-run homer and Arizona roughed up right-hander Aaron Harang in his first spring training start.

Upton singled home a run and had a two-run shot off Matt Maloney, who is competing for the Reds' fifth starter role.

Harang, already named to start his fifth straight season opener, lasted only 1 1/3 innings. He gave up four hits, including three doubles, and walked one, allowing three runs overall.

Royals 11, Athletics (ss) 10: Rick Ankiel homered and drove in four runs, and Mitch Maier hit a two-run homer for Kansas City.

Jack Cust hit a two-run homer and right-hander Vin Mazzaro pitched three scoreless innings for the Athletics. Cust also doubled and scored in the fifth.

Mazzaro allowed only one hit, a leadoff single to Scott Podsednik, but picked him off.

Ankiel hit a three-run homer in the fifth and singled home David DeJesus in the fourth.



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