Marwin Gonzalez homers, doubles in Twins Spring Training debut

Marwin Gonzalez #9 of the Minnesota Twins reacts after lining out to the New York Yankees to end the fourth inning in game three of the American League Division Series at Target Field on October 07, 2019 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. ((Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images))

Marwin Gonzalez had quite the debut Tuesday as the Minnesota Twins beat the Detroit Tigers 5-1 in a Spring Training game in Florida.

In his first at-bat of the spring, Gonzalez lined a two-run double down the right field line to give the Twins a 2-0 lead in the second inning. He later followed with his first home run of the spring, sending a blast over the fence in right center in the fifth inning.

It’s the first game Gonzalez has seen action in since issuing a public apology just before the start of Spring Training for his role in the Houston Astros sign-stealing scandal in 2017. Gonzalez was a utility player on that team, which won a World Series. He played with the Astros for seven seasons, from 2012 to 2018, before signing with the Twins in free agency last season.

“I’m remorseful for everything that happened in 2017, for everything that we did as a group, and for the players that were affected directly by us doing this ... That’s why I feel more regret and that’s why I’m remorseful,” Gonzalez told reporters in Florida on Feb. 11.

Gonzalez was the first position player to publicly apologize for the scandal.

Gonzalez hit .303 with 23 homers, 34 doubles and 90 RBI in 2017, all career-highs. In his first season with the Twins, Gonzalez hit .264 last year with 15 homers and 55 RBI in 114 games. He has been recovering from off-season knee surgery before playing in his first game Tuesday.

He’ll be expected to be a utility infielder again for the Twins this season, with free agent slugger Josh Donaldson coming to Minnesota to play third base, Jorge Polanco at shortstop, Luis Arraex at second and Miguel Sano moving from third to first base for Donaldson. Sano also homered in Tuesday’s win.