FORT MYERS, Fla. — South Korean slugger Byung Ho Park struck out three times in his exhibition debut, Phil Hughes breezed through two scoreless innings and the Minnesota Twins beat the Boston Red Sox 7-4 on Wednesday in the teams’ Grapefruit League opener.
Signed to a $12 million, four-year contract and acquired for a $12.85 million fee, Park struck out swinging his first two at-bats and then took a called third strike.
“I’ve got to admit I was a little nervous,” he said through a translator. “Because it was the first game, (I’m) not thinking too much. I feel good. I’m glad I got the first one out of the way.”
Twins manager Paul Molitor thinks Park needs at-bats during spring training to adjust.
“I’m sure he was excited and possibly a little bit nervous,” Molitor said. “There’s been a lot of anticipation since everything fell into place with him coming over here. You just pat him on the back and encourage patience. He’s just trying to get a feel for how things are going to flow here.”
Hughes needed just 20 pitches and allowed only one hit — Hanley Ramirez’s single. He did extra throwing in the bullpen after his outing.
Jorge Polanco hit a two-run homer for the Twins in the first of seven exhibition games between the clubs.
Henry Owens struggled with his control, giving up two walks and two hits, but struck out five in two innings.
Trevor May got the win, allowing two hits in two scoreless innings. Well regarded prospect Brian Johnson was the loser.
Thumbnail photo via Jonathan Dyer/USA TODAY Sports Images