The Game: The Tampa Bay Rays fell to the Minnesota Twins 6-2 on Saturday afternoon at Charlotte Sports Park. Things got scary for the Rays when a collision at the plate in the fourth inning sent Navarro to the field in agony and trainers racing to his aid. An x-ray would later reveal that the leg was not broken.
The Twins took the lead right off the start. Ben Revere led off the game with a double. Revere scored a batter later on an RBI single by Orlando Hudson to give the Twins a 1-0 lead.
Minnesota increased their lead in the fourth inning. Jacque Jones doubled to get things started. Brendan Harris then singled to right field, Jones tried to scored from second but a cannon throw from Gabe Kapler nailed Jones at the plate. Unfortunately Navarro was injured on the play and had to leave the game on the cart. Once play resumed, Alexi Casilla hit an RBI double to left field to score Harris. Nick Punto followed with a single to right. Revere then drove home two runs with a single to right field, giving the Twins a 5-0 advantage.
It wasn’t until the fifth inning that the Rays reached the scoreboard. Elliot Johnson singled to center to put a runner on the bases. Reid Brignac singled to left to move Johnson to third. Then Sean Rodriguez plated the run to give the Rays their first run of the game.
Tampa Bay added another run in the sixth inning. Justin Ruggiano tripled to center with two outs to put a runner in scoring position. Ruggiano later scored on a wild pitch to give Tampa Bay their second run.
The Twins posted another run in the ninth inning. Chris Parmelee struck a sacrifice fly to left field, scoring Matt Tolbert and giving Minnesota the 6-2 victory.
David Price suffered his first loss of the spring, allowing 5 runs (3 earned) on 11 hits with 3 strikeouts in 4 innings. Randy Choate pitched 2 shut-out innings allowing a hit and a walk. Rafael Soriano followed with a shut-out inning allowing a hit with a strikeout and a walk. Joaquin Benoit pitched a no-hit eighth inning recording a strikeout and a walk. Grant Balfour finished the game allowing 1 run on 2 hits with a walk in an inning worked.
RP Top Prospect Watch:
Reid Brignac: 1 for 2 with a strikeout.
A Look Ahead: The Rays (12-5) will play a split squad contest on Sunday. Half the squad will travel to Hammond Stadium to replay the Twins (8-8) while the other half heads to McKechnie Field to play the Pirates. Wade Davis will start against the Twins while Andy Sonnanstine starts against the Pirates.