Snell Struggles As Rays Drop Contest To Red Sox

PORT CHARLOTTE (620 WDAE) -- Pablo Sandoval's three-run homer off Blake Snell in the fifth inning turned around a 3-1 game, as the Tampa Bay Rays' spring winless skid reached six games, as the Boston Red Sox left Charlotte Sports Park with a 7-5 decision Saturday.

After Boston scored in the top of the first inning on an RBI single by Josh Rutledge, Tampa Bay rallied for three runs of their own.  Corey Dickerson tied the game in the bottom of the second with his fourth homer of the spring, another opposite-field shot, this time off Red Sox starter Shawn Haviland.  Logan Morrison broke the tie an inning later, plating Steven Souza with a groundout, and Evan Longoria brought in Luke Maile with a base hit two batters later.

Things fell apart of Snell to begin the fifth, with a walk to Devin Marrero and a single by Rusney Castillo before Sandoval took a 1-1 offering and smashed it on to the boardwalk in left-center, his fourth homer of the spring, giving Boston the lead which it would never relinquish.

The Red Sox added a run in the sixth off reliever Tommy Hunter on an RBI single by Castillo, and extended their lead to 7-3 in the eighth thanks to a run-scoring base hit by Bryce Brentz and an error by Tim Beckham on a Matt Dominguez ground ball.

The Rays got a pair of runs int he bottom of the ninth on base hits by Tim beckham and minor-leaguer Nathan Lukes, cutting the deficit back to 7-5, but could get no closer.

Tampa Bay heads to Steinbrenner Field Sunday for a matchup with the New York Yankees.  Matt Andriese will get the start, taking on Bryan Mitchell, with first pitch scheduled for 1:05.  Pregame coverage on WDAE starts at noon with Countdown to Opening Day.

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