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For one day it was O'Mientkiewicz

Twins work Irish magic on St. Patrick's Day

By Troy Young

tyoung@postbulletin.com

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The; Minnesota Twins tried to get the luck of the Irish on their side Wednesday.

To celebrate St. Patrick's Day, the Twins wore green jerseys and green caps. The bases were also painted green and the foul lines were chalked green as well. In between innings, a variety of Irish music played. Doug O'Mientkiewicz was sighted in the dugout playing air guitar during the Irish fest.

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Not everyone was excited to join in on the Irish fun.

Twins players were made aware on Tuesday they would be wearing green hats in Wednesday's game, but green jerseys?

"I knew about the hats, but then I came in here and the green jersey was hanging there," pitcher Johan Santana said. "I told the guys I'm not going to wear it. They told me it was St. Patrick's Day and I had to wear it."

Minor altercations were made by Santana, though.

"My jersey was too small, I had to cut off the sleeves," Santana said.

Not surprisingly, center fielder Torii Hunter was in the spirit.

"You know that four-leaf clover you look for in the grass and never find," asked Hunter, who hopefully doesn't spend too much time looking for clovers on the Metrodome's artificial turf. "I'm the black leprachaun. You ever see one of those?

"But I got two hits today, so it must have worked."

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Santana hopes the green jerseys get locked in a vault with a key that gets thrown away.

"I think I'll stay in blue, we do all right in those," said Santana, who laughed when asked if he was part Irish.

Santana was born in Tovar Verida, Venezuela.

For the second straight day, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire started the regular outfield lineup of Shannon Stewart in left, Hunter in center, and Jacque Jones in right. For the second straight time, Michael Restovich replaced Jones in the top of the sixth inning.

Restovich is hitting .357 (10-for-28) with two doubles, two home runs and seven RBIs. Perhaps the most positive sign is Restovich has struck out just three times in 28 at-bats.

In the seventh inning with runners on first and third, Restovich lost Mike Lowell's deep fly to right field, resulting in a game-tying single.

"I didn't see it," Restovich said. "It's always tough down here during the day in about the fifth or sixth inning. It happens. There's not much you can do."

Gardenhire agreed. "There's not much you can do about losing a fly ball in the sun," Gardenhire said.

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At the plate Wednesday, Restovich was 0-for-1. He ripped a gapper to right-center field that was tracked down for a long out in the bottom of the seventh.

Twins on a tear: Michael Cuddyer was 4-4 with five RBIs against Florida, highlighted by a two-run double in the sixth inning that hit just below the 405-foot sign on the center-field wall. Cuddyer, who in the eighth inning singled in the game-winning run for the second time in 24 hours, upped his average almost 100 points from .280 to .379 (11-for-29)…; Utility player Jose Offerman was 2-for-2 Wednesday, improving his spring average to .368 (7-for-19)....

Slumping Twins: Stewart was 0-for-3 Wednesday. He is hitting .071 (2-for-28)…; Matthew LeCroy is hitting .208 (5-for-24).

Wednesday's paid attendance at Hammond Stadium to see the Twins' 6-5 win: 7,594.

In their third straight home game today, the Twins will start Kyle Lohse against the Baltimore Orioles. In three starts this spring, Lohse is 0-0 with a 2.00 ERA.

In nine innings pitched, he has allowed just two runs on six hits while walking two and striking out seven. The Orioles are countering with Eric DuBose.

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