Rays Fall In Fort Myers But Beat USF

PORT CHARLOTTE (WDAE) -- The Tampa Bay Rays finished their split-squad Tuesday with a win and a defeat, falling at Hammond Stadium 9-2 to the Minnesota Twins, but defeating the University of South Florida 7-2 at Charlotte Sports Park.

Minnesota needed just the first inning for their offense as Eddie Rosario hit a grand slam off Adam Kolarek and Jake Cave hit a three-run homer off Luis Santos as part of an eight-run frame. Jason Castro added a solo homer off Hoby Milner in the fifth.

For Tampa Bay, Yandy Diaz hit his first home run as a member of the Rays off Trevor Hildenberger in the sixth, and a passed ball allowed Joey Wendle to score on a walk to Ji-Man Choi.

Blake Snell struggled with his fastball command against the Bulls in Port Charlotte, allowing a pair of runs on two hits, a walk and a hit batter. Joe Genord's RBI double made it 1-0, and an infield single by Tyler Dietrich extended the USF advantage to 2-0.

But the Rays would jump on Bulls starter Pat Doudican, with back-to-back walks to Vidal Brujan and Mike Zunino to start the inning. Brujan would score on a sacrifice fly by Moises Gomez, while Kevin Padlo tied the game with a base hit, and Nathan Lukes' two-run double gave the Rays the lead for good.

Tampa Bay added two more runs in the fifth, and 17-year-old Jelfry Marte scored from second base on a fly ball by Carl Chester that set the score.

The Rays welcome the Baltimore Orioles to Charlotte Sports Park Wednesday, with Charlie Morton making his second Grapefruit League start. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05.

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