Salty's homer helps Marlins overcome miscues
Catcher commits one of five Miami errors, but first blast of spring backs Koehler
JUPITER, Fla. -- The first home run of Spring Training was a big one for Jarrod Saltalamacchia. The blast in the fourth inning gave the Marlins the lead, and they went on to defeat the Twins, 3-1, on Tuesday at Roger Dean Stadium.
Saltalamacchia went deep to right field off Ryan Pressly, snapping a 1-1 tie.
"Big hit by Salty. That was fun to watch," manager Mike Redmond said. "He did a nice job behind the plate, too. That's one of the things we talked about in why we brought him over here. Give a little thump in the middle of that order. It was fun to watch."
Derek Dietrich's RBI single in the sixth inning provided Miami with an insurance run.
Minnesota's Phil Hughes and Miami's Tom Koehler each gave up a run, but for the most part, they did their jobs.
Byron Buxton, ranked by MLB.com as the No. 1 prospect in the game, went 0-for-5 for Minnesota.
Hughes, in his first Grapefruit League action, worked 2 2/3 innings, and his fastball was between 92-94 mph.
Koehler, in two innings, maxed out at 95 mph. He allowed one run on three hits.
The Twins struck first, scoring on Eduardo Escobar's sacrifice fly to right field in the second inning. Koehler actually did a good job minimizing the damage, because Minnesota loaded the bases with no outs.
Koehler also didn't get much luck, because Aaron Hicks' single to left dropped between left fielder Christian Yelich and shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria. Both had a chance to make the play. The Marlins committed five errors on the afternoon, including one each by Hechavarria and Saltalamacchia.
"These were routine plays too," Redmond said. "We work so hard on our defense and spend so much time on our defense. We'll chalk this one up to just a bad day."
Chris Colabello led the inning off with a single, and he scored on Escobar's fly ball to right field. Koehler regrouped, struck out Eric Fryer and retired Doug Bernier on a line drive to left.
Miami responded off Hughes with back-to-back, two-out singles. Saltalamacchia walked to open the inning. With two outs, Greg Dobbs singled and Ed Lucas slapped an RBI single to right.
Up next: Jose Fernandez, recently named the Marlins' Opening Day starter, will make his second Grapefruit League start Wednesday at 1:10 p.m. ET on MLB.TV. He is scheduled to throw three innings against the Mets at Port St. Lucie, Fla. New York will start Dillon Gee, who will be making his spring debut. Jeff Mathis will catch Fernandez, who threw to Saltalamacchia in his first start. Kevin Slowey is scheduled to follow Fernandez.