Chris Parmelee’s three-run homer off left-handed reliever Jose Mijares broke open a close game in the sixth inning on Saturday, and the Minnesota Twins went on to beat the Boston Red Sox 6-2.
Parmelee hit just .172 against lefties last year. He opened the season as the Twins’ everyday right fielder but gradually lost playing time until being sent back to Triple-A at the All-Star break.
“I told him right before that, he stays in on lefties,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “I don’t worry about him against lefties. When he swinging good, he hangs in there pretty decent.”
The former first-round draft pick is out of minor league options.
The Twins unveiled a $48.5 million renovation of their spring complex. A Hammond Stadium-record crowd of 8,547 was on hand.
Joe Mauer added a run-scoring single in the first for the Twins. He made his 2014 debut at first base after making the permanent move from catcher in the wake of a season-ending concussion last Aug. 19.
Daniel Nava homered for Boston and Grady Sizemore added a hit.
Red Sox: Rookie Allen Webster gave up three runs in the first inning and needed 45 pitches to secure just five outs. In his second big league start, last May 8 against the Twins at Fenway Park, Webster also failed to complete the second inning, allowing eight earned runs.
“First inning, he was just up,” catcher A.J. Pierzynski said. “It’s hard. A guy’s first time out there starting. Second inning, he threw a lot more two-seamers and was getting groundballs. I hope Webby takes the second inning and works off that, because that’s the Webby that I’ve heard about and that’s the Webby people will be talking about for a long time.”
Twins: Left-hander Scott Diamond, in a seven-way competition for the final spot in a revamped rotation, had trouble with Nava (homer, four-pitch walk) but was solid otherwise in his two-inning spring debut. Diamond, who had trouble finishing off hitters last season, jumped ahead 0-2 on four batters and retired them all.
“I’m happy with how it went,” Diamond said, “but there’s definitely a lot of adjustments I need to make.”