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Center-field competition on display vs. Jays


DUNEDIN, Fla. -- All three Twins players competing for the center field spot this spring started against the Blue Jays and made an impact in the Twins' 8-4 win on Tuesday.

Darin Mastroianni, Aaron Hicks and Joe Benson started in left, center and right field, respectively, and combined to go 4-for-12 with four RBIs, three runs and a walk.

"We had them all out there together, and they're all doing fine," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Hicksie, that was nice to see, he had a real nice ballgame. Selective at the plate. Benson goes deep, and Masti had a nice ballgame. So they all got out there and ran around. I thought we ran the ball down really well out there."

Benson started it off by crushing a two-run homer in the second inning before drawing a walk in the seventh and scoring on a two-run blast from prospect Eddie Rosario.

"It was nice," said Benson, who hit the homer on a cutter from left-hander Ricky Romero. "I got a hit in the 'B' game the other day and it felt good to run the bases, but it felt even better to get a hit today in an actual Spring Training game.

Hicks also picked up two hits and just narrowly missed a homer, as he doubled off the right-field wall in the fourth and came around to score on a single from Mastroianni. Hicks later added an RBI single to center in the fourth.

"Right now, I'm just trying to get good pitches to hit and I'm trying to hit them solid," said Hicks, whose double came on a quick-pitch fastball from right-hander Esmil Rogers. "I'm not too worried about results. Right now, I just wanted to hit the ball solid and get good pitches to hit."

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