Rays Pen Beat Up By Twins Bats

FORT MYERS (620 WDAE) -- Jose De Leon allowed three runs in as many innings, and minor-leaguer Shane Peterson hit his second homer of the spring, but it wasn't enough for the Tampa Bay Rays as they fell to the Minnesota Twins 9-4 Monday at Hammond Stadium.

De Leon had quick first and third innings, but allowed three runs in a three-batter stretch in the second on a Robbie Grossman single, a walk to Jason Castro, and a three-run blast by Niko Goodrum.

Tampa Bay had taken the lead in the top of the first, as Mallex Smith reached to start the game on a bunt single, took second on a botched pickoff throw, advanced to third on a flyball out from Tim Beckham, and scored on a sacrifice fly by Jake Bauers.

Smith also helped keep the game 1-0 in the bottom of the first robbing Joe Mauer of a potential home run.

Shane Peterson added to the lead an inning later, blasting his second home run of the spring off the batters' eye in straightaway center.

Steven Souza Jr., who took a 96 mile per hour fastball to the ribs in the third, broke the tie in the fifth with a ground-rule double that scored Tim Beckham, who doubled earlier in the inning.

Chase Whitley, who took over for De Leon starting in the fourth, ended up getting beat around in the fifth, starting with a triple by Danny Santana and a double by Benji Gonzalez to tie the game.  Zack Granite's sacrifice fly two batters gave Minnesota the lead for good, and Joe Mauer's RBI single later in the inning added an insurance run.

The Twins added two more runs off Ryne Stanek in the seventh on an RBI single by Ben Paulsen coupled with a fielding error by minor-leaguer Cade Gotta, and closed out the scoring in the eighth on a Engelb Vielma base hit off Taylor Guerrieri.

The Rays will split their squad Tuesday for the only time, with manager Kevin Cash staying at Charlotte Sports Park to guide the home team against the New York Yankees and bench coach Tom Foley taking the road squad to Sarasota for a contest against the Baltimore Orioles.  Both games begin at 1:05.

Listen to comments from Kevin Cash, Jose De Leon, Mallex Smith and Steven Souza Jr. below!

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