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Updated: March 13th, 2011 4:03pm
Live from Fort Myers, Day 25: Nathan hit hard; Gibson among cuts?

Live from Fort Myers, Day 25: Nathan hit hard; Gibson among cuts?

by Phil Mackey
1500ESPN.com
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FORT MYERS, Fla. -- A rundown of the news, notes and quotes from Sunday at Minnesota Twins spring training:

Today's result

Twins (ss) 9, Yankees 2
Phillies 6, Twins (ss) 3

It was bound to happen at some point.

After pitching four scoreless innings to start the spring, right-hander Joe Nathan took an old-fashioned beat-down at the hands of the Phillies on Sunday. Nathan allowed six earned runs on five hits and a walk in just 1/3 of an inning, with the final blow coming on a three-run blast by Delwyn Young off the right-field foul pole.

In fairness to Nathan, the inning started with center-fielder Ben Revere losing a fly ball in the sun, which resulted in a leadoff double for Michael Martinez. Freddy Galvis followed with a perfectly placed bunt single, and later, Delmon Young dropped a fly ball in foul territory down the left-field line.

"Stuff like that happens, and good thing for me, it got me in some situations I haven't been in a whole lot this spring," said Nathan, who continues his comeback from Tommy John surgery.

"Not a pretty inning by any means, but good thing I came out of it. I felt good. If I'm going to throw a lot of pitches like that, at least it felt good."

In his first four spring outings, Nathan -- whose fastball was clocked between 89-92 mph on the stadium gun Sunday -- allowed zero hits and two walks while striking out two, which is about as clean of a slate he could have hoped for just 11 months removed from the knife.

"Obviously it's not going to be 1-2-3, perfect innings every time you get out there, so this was kind of nice to get one of these out of the way. Obviously you don't go out there planning for this to happen, but I left some pitches up and they hit them. I threw some good pitches. It seemed like one of those innings where no matter what I threw up there, they were going to find a hole or find the sun, or place balls where we just can't get them.

"I felt better this time than most of the other outings, which is a good sign."

Scott Baker pitched four solid innings agaisnt the Yankees in Tampa, allowing two hits, a walk and only a solo home run to Alex Rodriguez.

Morneau plays second official game

Playing in his third spring-training game (second official) since being cleared by doctors, first baseman Justin Morneau went 0-for-2 with a pop-out and a strikeout.

Facing right-hander Michael Stutes in his first at-bat, popped up the first pitch he saw into shallow left field to lead off the second inning. Morneau struck out swinging on three pitches against right-hander Jason Grilli in the fifth.

He also dove head first in the third inning while trying to apply a tag on a pickoff attempt at first base.

Morneau went 1-for-2 with a three-RBI double in a 'B' game against the Pirates last Tuesday, then followed-up by going 0-for-2 with a reach-on-error in his official spring debut against the Red Sox on Friday.

Morneau's next scheduled appearance will come Wednesday at home against the Mets.

Numbers game

96: Remember former Tigers closer and first-overall pick Matt Anderson? The right-hander has been out of baseball for much of the last three years, but he has resurfaced in Phillies camp this year. Anderson, now 34 years old, threw a 96 mph fastball to Delmon Young with his first pitch Sunday, but things only went downhill from there. Anderson allowed three runs (two earned) on two hits and a walk in just 1/3 of an inning. His downfall as a Tiger 10 years ago was control, and it appears not much has changed.

14: The Twins will send 14 players to minor league camp on Monday, and there's a good chance right-hander Kyle Gibson is one of them.

"He's got tickets in hand," Gardenhire said. "One of them I'm sure will head toward Minnesota at one point. How soon? I don't know."

Gibson retired all five batters he faced on Sunday, and overall he has made a solid impression in his first major league camp.

Health watch

• C Joe Mauer (knee) caught his second bullpen session in as many days on Sunday, working with left-hander Brian Duensing for roughly 12 minutes. Mauer said Saturday that he hopes to get some at-bats in a spring training game sometime in the near future, depending on how his surgically-repaired knee reacts to the increased workload. "After the day off, we'll start seeing where we're at and start getting into ballgames and go from there," Gardenhire said.

• OF Michael Cuddyer (foot) took batting practice with teammates for the second straight day. "Still not ready for ballgames," Gardenhire said, "running and those things, but once minor league camp opens up down there, he'll be able to get plenty of swings and start catching up."

Overheard

"We thought that he was running faster, but that just meant he was chasing the balls he missed faster."
-- Gardenhire, joking with reporters when asked if Delmon Young's weight loss last season resulted in him tracking down more fly balls. Young's Ultimate Zone Rating did improve in 2010 from his previous two seasons with the Twins.

On deck

The Twins host the Florida Marlins at Hammond Stadium on Monday. RHP Kevin Slowey is scheduled to face RHP Javier Vazquez.

Phil Mackey is a columnist for 1500ESPN.com. He co-hosts "Mackey & Judd" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Phil | @PhilMackey | Mackey & Judd
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