FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — Generously listed at 5-foot-10 and 185 pounds, Eduardo Escobar will never impress anyone with his physique.
Yet the Minnesota Twins shortstop showed again Sunday in a 2-1 win over the Baltimore Orioles that he has surprising pop for his size.
“He’s a little man who can drive the ball a little bit,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said of Escobar, who set a career high with 35 doubles last season.
Escobar, competing with Danny Santana for the starting shortstop job, doubled off the base of the center-field wall in the fourth against lefty T.J. McFarland. The switch-hitting Escobar drove in Eduardo Nunez, who doubled ahead of him.
Joe Mauer also had an RBI double for the Twins.
Right-hander Ervin Santana, signed this offseason to a four-year, $55 million contract, made his spring debut with the Twins, pitching two scoreless innings in front of a sellout crowd at refurbished Hammond Stadium.
Orioles starter Ubaldo Jimenez struck out five in two innings, but Mauer sent a sharp double to left that scored Jordan Schafer, who walked and stole second to open the bottom of the first.
Escobar, competing with Danny Santana for the starting shortstop job, doubled off the base of the center field wall in the fourth off left-hander T.J. McFarland.
Chris Parmelee, who signed a minor league deal with the Orioles in January, went 1 for 3 with a single in his first game against his former team. Parmelee was a first-round pick of the Twins in 2006.
Twins RHP Jose Berrios, who started the All-Star Futures Game last July at Target Field, worked three innings of relief and gave up an unearned run on three hits.
Orioles: RHP Ubaldo Jimenez, shelled in his first start of the spring, bounced back with a much better outing.
“I was a little bit too slow with the curve the first couple of hitters, especially the leadoff guy,” Jimenez said. “I was too slow with my mechanics. Once I got through that, I was able to let it go.”
Twins: Santana threw 19 of 26 pitches for strikes, fanning three and flashing his typical sharp slider.
Orioles: Brooke Joseph, wife of catcher Caleb Joseph, gave birth on Saturday night in Sarasota. Walker Everett Joseph weighed in at 7 pounds, 15 ounces and was 21 1/4 inches long. Caleb Joseph is expected to rejoin the team soon, though the Orioles aren?t sure what day that will be.
Twins: Closer Glen Perkins, who hasn?t pitched since Wednesday, is scheduled to throw a bullpen on Monday after feeling discomfort in his side during a recent workout. Perkins played long toss and participated in fielding drills on Sunday. The original problem cropped up Friday when Perkins “a cramp or a tug” while playing catch, Molitor said. “I was told he thought he might have had a bad belt on.”
Orioles: RHP Chris Tillman, the likely opening day starter, will make his first spring start on Monday against visiting Philadelphia.
Twins: RHP Ricky Nolasco, looking to atone for a disappointing first season with Minnesota, makes his spring debut Monday vs. Pittsburgh. RHP Alex Meyer, one of the Twins? top pitching prospects, will follow him to the mound. … LHP Taylor Rogers will start the six-inning B game on Monday morning in Bradenton against the Pirates.
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