Steady offense on display in Twins' exhibition
Hicks, Ramirez homer vs. Puerto Rico in seesaw match; Worley goes 3 1/3 frames
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Luis Figueroa laced a go-ahead RBI single in the eighth inning to help lead Team Puerto Rico to an 8-7 win over the Twins on Wednesday in an exhibition game at Hammond Stadium.
Figueroa's one-out single off reliever Anthony Slama scored Jesus Feliciano, who walked earlier in the inning against reliever Alex Burnett.
Puerto Rico got on the board against right-hander Vance Worley with a sacrifice fly from Alex Rios in the first inning after a double from Angel Pagan and a single from Irving Falu.
Worley, though, settled down after that opening frame. He allowed two runs (three earned) on six hits over 3 1/3 innings in his third start of the spring.
"I started throwing harder, because I was tired of giving up little bleeders and broken-bat hits," Worley said. "I thought the only way I could beat it was to throw harder and try to beat their swing."
Center fielder Aaron Hicks, one of only a handful of regulars to play for the Twins, went 2-for-2 with a walk and a solo homer in the first off Puerto Rico starter Giancarlo Alvarez.
The Twins scored four times in the second inning, with Eduardo Escobar bringing home a couple of runs with a two-run single before Jeff Clement and Brandon Boggs walked with the bases loaded.
But Puerto Rico came back with a run in the fourth, scored twice in the sixth and twice in the seventh. Pedro Valdes hit a two-run homer in the sixth off Jared Burton and went 3-for-4 with three RBIs.
Twins prospects Jose Berrios and Eddie Rosario both saw action for Team Puerto Rico, as Berrios tossed a scoreless inning in relief and Rosario went 1-for-3 with a single.
Wilkin Ramirez hit his first homer of the spring, taking Puerto Rico pitcher Randy Fontanez deep in the seventh inning.
Up next: The Twins are set for their first split-squad action of Spring Training on Thursday, as they host the Red Sox in a 12:05 p.m. CT start at Hammond Stadium (available on Gameday Audio) and also travel to Clearwater, Fla., to play the Phillies in a 12:05 p.m. CT start at Bright House Field (available on MLB.TV). Right-hander Kevin Correia is set to start against Boston while fellow right-hander Kyle Gibson is slated to take the mound against Philadelphia. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire is scheduled to accompany the team to Clearwater.