Polanco, Sanchez HR, Pirates top Twins in rain

Published 12:00 pm Saturday, March 28, 2015

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Gregory Polanco and Tony Sanchez hit solo home runs to lead the Pittsburgh Pirates to rain-shortened 4-2 win over the Minnesota Twins on Friday.

The game was called in the top of the eighth inning.

Sanchez’s opposite-field shot was his third homer this spring.

Email newsletter signup

“He’s playing as well as I’ve ever seen him play,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “He’s playing with confidence. He came to work. He came to get better. He came to make the club, regardless of what personnel was in place.”

Both Pirates homers came off Trevor May, who was making his final bid to open the season in the big league rotation. May was lifted after 4 2-3 innings, having allowed four runs on eight hits and a walk.

Left-hander Tommy Milone appears to have the upper hand in that three-way competition with May and veteran right-hander Mike Pelfrey. A decision is likely Saturday.

Brian Dozier singled, tripled and made a leaping catch of a line drive behind second base for the Twins.

Torii Hunter walked twice and singled but also was picked off first. Joe Mauer added an RBI groundout.


Pirates: LHP Jeff Locke, competing with RHP Vance Worley for the final rotation spot, allowed two runs on eight hits and three walks over 5 2-3 innings. The Twins put at least one runner on base in every inning against Locke, but he managed to work out of trouble each time except the third.

“I like the way he went out today,” Hurdle said. “He got challenged out of the stretch and he continued to compete, make pitches and stay out of the big inning.”

Twins: May posted a 4.22 ERA in three Grapefruit League outings and also tossed three solid innings against minor league competition, but he struggled with fastball command against the Pirates.

“He gave up some hard-hit balls,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said. “He got dinged up a little bit. Probably wasn’t his best day, but overall no complaints with that young man this spring.”


Pirates: C Chris Stewart (strained hamstring) will probably open the season on the disabled list. The team is being cautious with his return.

Twins: C Josmil Pinto (head injury) was cleared for full baseball activities and is nearing a return to game action. The Twins have submitted Pinto’s test results to Major League Baseball under the concussion protocol and are awaiting approval to use him in a minor-league game. … LHP Brian Duensing (bruised left quad) returned after taking a comebacker off the leg on Tuesday and recorded four outs without giving up a baserunner.


Pirates: RHP Charlie Morton is scheduled to start at home against the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday.

Twins: RHP Ervin Santana is scheduled to start at home against the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday.