Hunter's 1st homer helps Twins beat Blue Jays 6-5
FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) After Torii Hunter hit his first home run in a Twins uniform since 2007, manager Paul Molitor greeted him in the dugout with a sly message.
''Remember how you did it,'' Molitor said after Hunter hit a three-run homer Tuesday in the Twins' 6-5 win over the Toronto Blue Jays
Tthe 39-year-old Hunter signed a one-year, $10.5 million, one-year deal to return to the Twins, a team he left after the 2007 season. Hunter had just two extra-base hits, a pair of doubles, through his first 25 at-bats before connecting on an 82 mph breaking ball.
''I know physically he feels really good,'' Molitor said. ''It's always nice to click on one in spring training. He's a smart, intelligent guy who has an idea every time he goes up there what he's going to try to do. He saw that and he reacted very nicely.''
Before the game, the Twins announced a $20 million, four-year contract with second baseman Brian Dozier, who homered on the first pitch he saw.
''I'm a Brian Dozier fan,'' Molitor said. ''We're elated to have one of our best players in the fold for four years.''
Jordan Schafer homered leading off the eighth.
Blue Jays: Todd Redmond gave up one run and one hit over three innings in his first spring training start.
Twins: Ricky Nolasco allowed one run, three hits and a walk in five innings. He struck out six - four called.
''It was fun to watch Ricky pitch,'' Molitor said. ''His stuff was crisp. He used his fastball well and his breaking stuff was effective. A very solid outing.''
Blue Jays: Edwin Encarnacion (back) and OF Michael Saunders (knee) played in the same minor league game on Tuesday in Dunedin. If Encarnacion gets through another minor league game well on Wednesday, Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said he could return to big league exhibition play Thursday against Philadelphia.
Twins: C Josmil Pinto is progressing after getting hit on the helmet three times by Baltimore's Adam Jones on Jones' follow-through on March 21. Pinto, who had been bothered by headaches and dizziness, is no longer displaying concussion-related symptoms. He has yet to receive medical clearance to resume baseball activities.
LHP Brian Duensing was struck on the quadriceps by a Devin Travis comebacker in the seventh inning and left the game for precautionary reasons. The Twins were concerned about Duensing's quadriceps stiffening.
Blue Jays: LHP Daniel Norris is to star Wednesday against Baltimore.
Twins: RHP Kyle Gibson is slated to make his fifth start Wednesday, against Tampa Bay.