03/26/08 12:27 PM ET
Shields solid, but Rays fall to Twins
Right-hander looks season-ready in final spring start
By Maureen Mullen / Special to MLB.com
at Fort Myers, Fla.
Wednesday, March 26 Rays at the plate: Jason Bartlett went 3-for-4 with a double, an RBI and a stolen base. Akinori Iwamura went 2-for-4 with a triple and a run scored. Twins at the plate: Joe Mauer went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored. Carlos Gomez went 1-for-2 with a double and a run scored before leaving the game in the fifth inning with pain in his left hamstring. Rays on the mound: Right-hander James Shields, who will be the Rays' Opening Day starter, went four innings, allowing four runs (two earned) on seven hits, with three strikeouts, no walks and two hit batsmen. Scott Munter relieved Shields, going two scoreless innings, giving up three hits and striking out one. Twins on the mound: Right-hander Livan Hernandez, who is scheduled to start on Opening Day for the Twins, went six innings, allowing one run on four hits and a walk, with five strikeouts. Pat Neshek pitched a scoreless seventh, Joe Nathan allowed one run in the eighth, and Jeffrey Manship worked the ninth for the save. Grapefruit League records: Rays 17-6; Twins 14-13. Up next for the Rays: The Rays travel to Winter Haven, Fla., on Thursday to face the Indians at Chain of Lakes Park at 1:05 p.m. ET. Right-hander Andy Sonnanstine is scheduled to start for the Rays, and the Indians will counter with left-hander Cliff Lee.
Up next for the Twins: The Twins will face the Reds on Thursday at Ed Smith Stadium at 1:05 p.m. ET. Right-hander Boof Bonser is scheduled to start for the Twins, with fellow righty Bronson Arroyo starting for the Reds.
Maureen Mullen is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.