PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Rays Minor Leaguers helped key a five-run eighth-inning rally against the Twins' bullpen as the game ended in a 6-6 tie Thursday at Charlotte Sports Park.The Rays loaded the bases off Thomas Pressly, who walked Mallex Smith, cutting the deficit to four. Luke Bard came on
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Rays Minor Leaguers helped key a five-run eighth-inning rally against the Twins' bullpen as the game ended in a 6-6 tie Thursday at Charlotte Sports Park.
The Rays loaded the bases off Thomas Pressly, who walked Mallex Smith, cutting the deficit to four. Luke Bard came on in relief and gave up two-run doubles to first baseman Joe McCarthy and left fielder Angel Moreno.
Byron Buxton doubled to lead off the fourth, giving the Twins their first hit against Rays starter Jake Odorizzi. Joe Mauer followed with an opposite-field home run to put the Twins up, 2-0.
Miguel Sano connected off Rays reliever Tommy Hunter to dead center field in the sixth for his fourth home run of the spring. The next batter, Jason Castro, followed with one of his own.
"It was an 0-2 fastball that got in on me," Sano said. "I was just trying to make good contact and the ball flied out."
In his final start before the regular season, Odorizzi allowed two runs on three hits in 3 1/3 innings. The right-hander will make his first regular-season start on Tuesday against the Yankees at Tropicana Field.
"Today's the best my arm has felt, most lively it's felt all spring," Odorizzi said. "So that's a good thing going into the season. I thought my fastball command was the best that it's been. So it's kind of a good cap to Spring Training."
Twins left fielder Eddie Rosario made the defensive play of the game in the fourth when Logan Morrison tried to score from second on Steven Souza Jr.'s single to left. Rosario fielded the ball cleanly and threw a strike to catcher Castro for the third out of the inning.
Hector Santiago, the Twins' No. 2 pitcher, scattered six hits against the Rays. He struck out three and walked one in 5 1/3 innings.
"You give up a leadoff walk and a triple; you just try to minimize the damage," Santiago said. "I thought I did a really good job of getting out of some stuff and Rosario made a nice throw to get a guy out at the plate but it was nice to get some work out of the stretch because I know during the year it's not always going to be 1-2-3."
Twins Up Next: The Twins will have one final tune-up before the regular season when they play their Triple-A affiliate, Rochester, at Hammond Stadium at 11:05 a.m. CT Friday. Kyle Gibson (1-1, 1.59 ERA) will get the start against the Red Wings. The Twins are expected start their entire Opening Day lineup in the field to start the game.
Rays Up Next: The Rays close out their 2017 Grapefruit League season Friday against the Phillies in a 1:05 p.m. ET contest in Clearwater. Alex Cobb will start. Blake Snell is also scheduled to pitch. The game can be seen free on MLB.TV.
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Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005.
J. Scott Butherus is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Twins on Thursday.