Cumpton strong in his start
FORT MYERS, Fla. – Twins first baseman Joe Mauer’s error in the eighth inning led to two runs that lifted the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 2-1 victory over Minnesota on Wednesday.
Mauer, who has three more spring training games to complete his conversion from a three-time Gold Glove-winning catcher to a full-time first baseman, bobbled a ball hit by Travis Snider with two outs and the bases loaded. The error allowed Tito Polo and Jordy Mercer to score the tying and go-ahead runs.
Oswaldo Arcia hit a solo home run, his second of spring training, for the Twins off Pirates left-hander Tony Watson.
Pittsburgh: Pirates starter Brandon Cumpton, who made his big-league debut for the Pirates last season and wound up starting five games, struck out four and gave up two hits in five shutout innings.
“I’m still working on my delivery and my mechanics,” said Cumpton, who spent most of last season in Triple-A Indianapolis, where he had a 6-7 record and 3.32 ERA in 19 starts, 20 appearances. “Overall, it was a pretty decent day for me. It’s a big confidence builder for me, too, seeing guys like that in the lineup and getting to throw against them.”
Pirates closer Jason Grilli struck out one in one inning. He has not allowed a run this spring after pitching four innings in the Grapefruit League, plus additional work in minor league games. He said he is scheduled to pitch one more exhibition game against the Phillies.
“Opening day is the best day for baseball,” Grilli said. “Everybody is excited. People can see that. It’s time to play ball, right? Everything is fine. I’m ready to go. I will have gotten my nine innings in. It’s been a great spring training.”