3/14/2013 12:35 A.M. ET
Morneau returns from successful Classic stint
By Rhett Bollinger / MLB.com
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- After starring for Team Canada in the World Baseball Classic for three games, Twins slugger Justin Morneau made his return to the lineup as the club's first baseman and cleanup hitter on Wednesday night against the Orioles.
Morneau, who went 0-for-3 in the Twins' 9-4 loss to the Orioles, was impressive in the Classic, hitting .636 (7-for-11) with three doubles, three RBIs and a walk. But Canada was eliminated with a 9-4 loss to Team USA on Sunday at Chase Field in Phoenix, which caused Morneau to head back to Fort Myers earlier than he had hoped to.
"The intensity was good and the adrenaline level was high, but there's still a long time until the regular season starts," Morneau said. "But it was still a good foundation to build off of -- to have a few good days of the success at the plate and know my swing is pretty close to where I want it to be. So it's a good confidence builder, and hopefully I can continue it."
Morneau said one of the highlights for him was facing Twins left-hander Glen Perkins with Joe Mauer behind the plate for Team USA. Morneau singled in his lone at-bat against Perkins and said his dad took a picture of the at-bat for a keepsake.
"It was cool," Morneau said. "It was something I'll never forget for sure. Being in there with Joe back there catching, me hitting and Perkins pitching, it's not too often something like that happens with teammates facing each other in a big situation like that."
Morneau also added he was uninjured in the bench-clearing incident that broke out between Team Canada and Team Mexico on Saturday, which was a relief to Twins manager Ron Gardenhire, who was happy to have Morneau back in camp.
"It's all good," Gardenhire said. "He's excited. He had fun. He's anxious to get back here and get playing. And we're happy he's back here playing and healthy."
Correia enjoys starting success against O's
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Right-hander Kevin Correia turned in his best outing of the spring in the Twins' 9-4 loss to the Orioles on Wednesday night at Hammond Stadium.
Correia, making his fourth Grapefruit League start, gave up two runs (one earned) on four hits in 4 2/3 innings to his improve his ERA to 4.76 this spring.
"It was good," Correia said. "Everything felt pretty good. I was throwing a lot of strikes and getting ahead of guys. It's pretty much everything I'm looking to do at this part of spring."
Correia was also aided by a few nice plays from the defense, as Chris Parmelee robbed a potential homer in right field with a leaping catch at the wall, while Brian Dozier made several slick plays at second base.
"I was really helped by my defense," Correia said. "Dozier made a couple of great plays. It's kind of what I need pitching out there. I didn't have any strikeouts or any walks, so the ball is going out there and we need to field it. So the pitch count was good and my arm felt probably as good as it's felt since I've been out there."
Guerra scheduled to undergo rib procedure
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Right-hander Deolis Guerra, who was diagnosed with a blood clot in his right shoulder last week, was transferred to Tampa General Hospital in preparation for a first rib resection surgery, the Twins announced on Wednesday.
The surgery date is yet to be determined, but the removal of his first rib is expected to give the artery more room.
"He's in Tampa and will have surgery on that rib in the next couple of days," Twins general manager Terry Ryan said. "This is something a lot of people have had. We've had four guys have this in the past. A blood clot is certainly a serious situation, but they'll remove that first rib and he'll be back in time."
Guerra, who is expected to be out about three months, initially felt numbness in his shoulder while in Puerto Rico, as he was set to pitch for Team Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic. But he left the tournament early to get checked out by Twins doctors in Florida. He last pitched in an exhibition game for Venezuela against the Mets in Port St. Lucie on Wednesday -- giving up two runs on three hits in one inning.
• Utility infielder Eduardo Escobar got some work at catcher on Wednesday, as he caught fastballs from a pitching machine in the batting cages. Gardenhire said he wants Escobar, who is hitting .367 this spring, to be ready in case he's needed as an emergency catcher this year.
"He's fine," Gardenhire said. "He's done that with the White Sox. I talked to him the other day about how he has to do some of that stuff, too. He has no problems with it."
• The starting rotation could start to take shape next week, as Gardenhire said the official rotation order will begin after the off-day on Tuesday. Gardenhire has yet to name the club's Opening Day starter against the Tigers for April 1 at Target Field.
"We're working on it," Gardenhire said. "We'll have it all lined up after our next day off."
• Right fielder Chris Parmelee returned to the lineup on Wednesday after missing more than a week with right groin tightness. Parmelee, who started in right field and batted sixth against the Orioles, initially sustained the injury running the bases on March 4 in Jupiter.