FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — An injury in 2009 forced Kevin Slowey off the mound at midseason. This spring, the Minnesota right-hander has been pitching in midseason form.
Jacque Jones hit a two-run home run and Justin Morneau hit a solo shot for the Twins to support Slowey in a 4-1 victory over the Florida Marlins on Wednesday.
Slowey struck out five without a walk while giving up three hits in five scoreless innings, lowering his spring ERA to 0.56 against a Marlins team that fielded most of its regulars.
He said his right wrist is fully recovered from last summer's surgery.
"I feel like especially the last couple of outings, I have felt comfortable out there," Slowey said. "I didn't even think once about my wrist while out there. As far as I'm concerned, I'm done with it. I'm very thankful for that, too. You never know how you're going to come back from something like that. It took a lot of rehab."
Slowey had a 10-2 record by June 19, but he threw his last pitch of the season two weeks later.
"He's a pretty tough kid," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We'll let it play out. He's throwing the ball as well as anybody in camp."
Marlins right fielder Brett Carroll left the game in the middle of the first inning with a strained left oblique muscle and is expected to sit out for a few days. Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez said he anticipates Carroll missing at least two days. Carroll is competing for a bench role in the outfield.
"My first swing, I fouled a ball, and something didn't feel right," Carroll said. "I've never experienced anything like this before. It's just something mild. I wanted to keep playing, but they wouldn't let me. I had to come out. It's just one of those things you can't control."
Marlins starter Anibal Sanchez gave up the homers to Jones and Morneau, completing six innings while allowing eight hits. The Twins, who rested most of their regulars, grounded into four double plays with Sanchez on the mound
Jones, who was a regular in the outfield for the Twins from 1999-2005, remains in contention for the final bench spot with infielders Alexi Casilla and Matt Tolbert. Tolbert went 2 for 2 with a walk and a run scored. Casilla, who is out of minor league options, went 1 for 3 with a walk.
Hanley Ramirez went 2 for 3 to raise his spring average to .319 for the Marlins, and John Baker went 2 for 4. Dan Uggla drove in Florida's run with a groundout.
NOTES: The Marlins reassigned OF Mike Stanton to minor league camp and now have 38 players in camp. "This guy has great recognition of the strike zone," Gonzalez said. "He has gotten so much better in the outfield. He just needs to get some more experience. He's close to being a major leaguer." ... Twins LHP Jose Mijares bruised his right hand while catching a hard-hit ball in an intrasquad game but is expected to be all right.