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Sandoval flexes muscle against Rays

March 25, 2017

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Pablo Sandoval's three-run homer in the fifth led the Red Sox to a 7-5 win over the Rays on Saturday afternoon at Charlotte Sports Park.Facing Rays starter Blake Snell with two on and no outs in the fifth, Sandoval sent a 1-1 offering to left to

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Pablo Sandoval's three-run homer in the fifth led the Red Sox to a 7-5 win over the Rays on Saturday afternoon at Charlotte Sports Park.
Facing Rays starter Blake Snell with two on and no outs in the fifth, Sandoval sent a 1-1 offering to left to erase a 3-1 Rays lead.
Snell, the Rays' No. 4 starter, has struggled throughout the spring and continued to do so on Saturday, allowing four runs on six hits and a walk while striking out three in 4 2/3 innings.
"I'm happy with the way I attacked the zone," Snell said. "I feel like I took a stride. I felt more into it. More believing what I have. More aggressive. So definitely taking that [as a] positive, but I still know I have a lot to work on."
Josh Rutledge, who is the favorite to be Boston's 25th man, played first base for the first time and put the Red Sox up, 1-0, with a first-inning single off Snell.

Corey Dickerson answered for the Rays with an opposite-field homer to left off Red Sox starter Shawn Haviland, giving Dickerson four home runs for the spring.
Steven Souza Jr. scored from third base when Logan Morrison grounded out in the third, and Evan Longoria singled home another run to put the Rays up, 3-1.

Rusney Castillo's RBI single off Tommy Hunter in the sixth put the Red Sox up, 5-3. Bryce Brentz added an RBI single in the eighth, the Red Sox added a run when Rays shortstop Timothy Beckham booted Matt Dominguez's two-out grounder to make it 7-3, then Beckham closed out the scoring by doubling and scoring in the ninth for the final score.
Red Sox Up Next: Lefty Chris Sale makes his fifth start of Spring Training on Sunday afternoon on the road against the Twins. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 ET on MLB.TV. Sale was dominant in his most recent start, striking out 10 Yankees over six innings. Righty setup men Joe Kelly, Matt Barnes and Richard Hembree will all see action.
Rays Up Next: The Rays will travel to Tampa on Sunday afternoon to play the Yankees in a 1:05 ET contest. Matt Andriese, who will be the Rays' No. 5 starter, will take the hill. Also scheduled to see action are Jumbo Diaz and Jaime Schultz. Bryan Mitchell will start for the Yankees.
Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com.