Twins get to Florida’s right-hander Rick VandenHurk in 3rd and beat Marlins 4-2

Three runs in the third inning boosted Minnesota to 8-4 in Grapefruit League play.

.JUPITER, Fla. (AP) – Rick VandenHurk’s final inning was the one that gave him trouble.

The Florida Marlins right-hander pitched two scoreless innings before giving up three runs in the third, and the Minnesota Twins went on to win 4-2 Monday.

“My arm is good,” VandenHurk said. “I’m happy that I’m healthy and that I’m throwing the ball well. Sometimes they have good hitting, too.”

VandenHurk allowed four hits, walked two and struck out two. He gave up a three-run double to Randy Ruiz.

VandenHurk is vying for a spot in the rotation after going 4-6 with a 6.83 ERA in 18 games as a rookie with the Marlins last season.

“We just need to get him more aggressive in the strike zone, instead of getting deep in the counts,” manager Fredi Gonzalez said.

Twins starter Kevin Slowey, a candidate to help fill the void created by the trade of Johan Santana, allowed six hits in three scoreless innings. He was helped by two double plays.

Slowey, the Twins’ 2007 minor league pitcher of the year, yielded nine hits and six runs in his first two appearances.

The Marlins loaded the bases with two outs in the seventh, but Alexis Gomez struck out. Florida threatened again in the ninth, but Jason Wood grounded out with two on to end the game.

Julio DePaula gave up two hits and a run in the ninth but earned a save. Alejandro De Aza went 3-for-4 for Florida.