Saturday, April 13, 2013

Twins ground crew does amazing job of clearing snow while Mets clear bases

It's to to figure out which is more amazing — the New York Mets 16-5 thumping of the Minnesota Twins or that the game was even played at all.

Shortly before the teams took the field for batting practice Friday, an exhausted head groundskeeper, Larry DiVito, looked around at an empty and snow-free Target Field and gave himself a pat on his back. A little more than 24 hours after a spring storm had dumped 5.1 inches of snow in the Twin Cities, DiVito told how dozens of workers had readied the field for the Mets and the Twins to play.

He described the five-zone underground heating system that melted almost all of the snow, and praised workers who had cleared the seating areas Thursday by blasting hot water through high-powered hoses. Keeping the field between 64 and 70 degrees, DiVito said, would prevent any further snow from sticking.

Later, DiVito might have wished he let the Twins get a snow day.

Or just maybe, it was the hot-hitting Mets who melted the snow.

A blazing John Buck hit a grand slam en route to homering in his fourth straight game, while David Wright had three hits with four RBI and two runs scored as the New York Mets snowballed the home team in the opener of the three-game interleague series.

Buck, who also scored twice, now shares the major league lead with six home runs and 19 RBI. He also became the first catcher in MLB history with six home runs through 10 games.

Daniel Murphy went 4-for-5 with two doubles to go along with four RBI for the Mets, who saw starter Jon Niese (2-0) toss five innings and allow five runs -- four earned -- on five hits.

Marlon Byrd had two hits and two RBI in the win.

Ryan Doumit plated two runs and Justin Morneau had two hits with one RBI and a run scored for the freezing-cold Twins, who have lost four straight. Vance Worley (0-2) lasted just one-plus inning and gave up nine runs -- seven earned -- on seven hits and walked two in defeat.

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