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Twins 5, Cardinals 3

Twins 5, Cardinals 3
FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) - Kevin Slowey struck out Albert Pujols with the bases loaded, and the Minnesota Twins beat the St. Louis Cardinals 5-3 on Sunday.

Slowey, who went 12-11 with 3.99 ERA in his first full season in the big leagues struck out five without walking a batter and gave up two runs and eight hits in six innings. He has a 2.21 spring ERA following five starts.

"He's a fantastic player, and he's going to be for the next 10 or 15 years," Slowey said of Pujols, who went 1-for-4 with the two strikeouts. "It is fun to play against him. You never want to find yourself in that situation, but when you do, you try to make your pitches the best you can and go from there."

Pujols did not know much about Slowey, but he said he'll be ready when the Cardinals face Twins in he regular season June 26-28.

"He looked good," Pujols said. "This will help me when we play them during the season. I had two strikeouts, no? We'll see during the season how it goes."

Slowey gave up a two-run homer to Cardinals outfielder Rick Ankiel in the fifth inning. but otherwise looked sharp, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said.

"Slowey was good," Gardenhire said. "He threw the ball really good. He located the ball in and out. He made a couple of pitches when he had to. He got out of it. That's a fun ballclub to play against. It's a great organization."

Gardenhire also took note of a strong performance by Cardinals starter Chris Carpenter.

"The ball was going everywhere," Gardenhire said. "He's a big animal out there on the mound. You don't know what the ball is doing."

Carpenter struck out seven, walked two and gave up four runs off seven hits in 4 2-3 innings.

"My command wasn't as good as I would have liked," Carpenter said. "As long as I'm healthy and I keep getting my pitch counts up, the stuff is there."

Carpenter had reconstructive elbow surgery in July 2007. He returned last season but made only three starts because of shoulder trouble that required arthroscopic surgery in September.

Twins left fielder Delmon Young hit an RBI double in the second inning, and center fielder Carlos Gomez followed that with a two-run double for a 3-0 lead.

Twins third baseman Brendan Harris scored on a groundout by Jason Kubel in the fifth for a 4-2 lead.

In the bottom of the eighth catcher Drew Butera, the son of former Twin Sal Butera, hit an RBI double that scored minor league outfielder Joe Gaetti, son of former Twins third baseman Gary Gaetti, who was in attendance.

Butera, trying to make the team in the absence of Joe Mauer, who remains out with a back injury, went 1-for-1, as did Gaetti.

Note: Twins 1B Justin Morneau and 3B Joe Crede were late scratches from the game, which was delayed by an hour and 55 minutes because of the rain. Gardenhire said he decided to rest those players.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: March 30, 2009

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