Gameday Live: Rays vs Twins
The Rays beat the Twins 5-2 at Charlotte Sports Park.
James Shields had a strong start, giving up just one run over five innings. Sean Rodriguez had hits in his first two at bats and a spectacular catch in centerfield, new closer Rafael Soriano threw a scoreless inning in his Rays debut, and Justin Ruggiano added a two run triple.
Update 3:31 p.m. Justin Ruggiano added to his impressive spring with a two-run triple in the seventh.
Rays 5, Twins 1
Update 3:30 p.m. RHP Joaquin Benoit got himself in a bases loaded, no out jam in the seventh, but found a way to get out of it - retiring the next three batters in order.
Update 2:56 p.m. RHP James Shields' final line in his strong performance - five innings, four hits, one run, three strikeouts.
Update 2:43 p.m. RHP closer Rafael Soriano made his Rays debut in the sixth, striking out the first two hitters he faced. But he hit Michael Cuddyer, gave up a bloop double to Delmon Young before getting Wilson Ramos to line out to right to end the inning.
Rays 2, Twins 1 (sixth)
Update 2:18 p.m. Luke Hughes just hit a homer for the Twins to cut the Rays lead to 2-1 in the fifth.
Other than that, RHP James Shields has looked sharp in his outing, which he hopes to get to 75 pitches.
Update 1:45 p.m. Hank Blalock is showing his pop at the plate, hitting an RBI double to right-center in the third.
Blalock, on a minor league deal with the Rays, now has three doubles in his last four at-bats.
Rays 2, Twins 0
Update 1:39 p.m. Is there anything Sean Rodriguez can't do? Rodriguez made a spectacular diving catch in centerfield to end the second, drawing a standing ovation from the Charlotte Sports Park crowd.
Rodriguez, who grew up as a centerfielder, told manager Joe Maddon he'd like to play there. Rodriguez showed his comfort level on the play when, playing shallow, he raced back for a Denard Span fly ball and then laid out for the catch.
Then, Rodriguez led off the bottom of the inning with a single.
Update 1:19 p.m. The Rays score first, and - not surprisingly - Sean Rodriguez was the spark. Rodriguez, batting leadoff, ripped a liner into left-center, and hustled to turn it into a double.
After a Gabe Kapler sacrifice bunt, Evan Longoria knocked Rodriguez in with a groundout.
Rays 1, Twins 0
Developing: We're live in Port Charlotte, where the Rays are hosting the Twins.
Some things to watch will be Sean Rodriguez in center, and Kelly Shoppach catching James Shields for the first time this spring.