PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Minnesota infielder Trevor Plouffe and catcher Kurt Suzuki look like they're ready for Opening Day. Each hit two home runs at Charlotte Sports Park on Friday as the Twins powered past the Rays, 6-1.Minnesota started the scoring in the second when Plouffe ripped a long ball
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Minnesota infielder Trevor Plouffe and catcher Kurt Suzuki look like they're ready for Opening Day. Each hit two home runs at Charlotte Sports Park on Friday as the Twins powered past the Rays, 6-1.
Minnesota started the scoring in the second when Plouffe ripped a long ball off Tampa Bay starter Drew Smyly, a no-doubter over the left-field wall with outfielder Mikie Mahtook barely moving a step.
After scoring on Byron Buxton's sacrifice fly in the third, Suzuki took Smyly deep with his own dinger to left-center field in the fifth, extending the lead to 3-0.
Plouffe hit his second homer of the game in the sixth off Smyly, a two-run blast that easily cleared the boardwalk in left field and exited the park. An inning later, Suzuki hit a dinger off Jhan Marinez, making it 6-0.
Smyly pitched six innings, allowing five runs on five hits (three of them homers) with four strikeouts and one walk. The Twins' Opening Day starter Ervin Santana notched six scoreless innings, allowing three hits and no walks while striking out eight.
"I think my fastball location, fastball command just wasn't as sharp as it should be," Smyly said. "It was just three, four pitches -- if you take those out, it was a really good outing. Take that last home run away, and it was a really good outing. I was one strike away, and it was just a walk and a home run. It was probably good to have this game to kind of humble you and just get ready for the season."
"Ervin Santana was pretty tough," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "We didn't recognize his breaking ball that well or his changeup. He looked like he was pretty spot on."
The Rays finally got on the board in the bottom of the seventh, when Brandon Guyer got in on the hit show and took a full-count offering from former Ray Kevin Jepsen over the wall to center.
Up next for the Twins: Right-hander Kyle Gibson will start for the Twins on Saturday, when Minnesota hosts the split-squad Pirates at 12:05 p.m. CT on MLB.TV. Gibson, who is lined up to be the club's No. 2 starter, has a 2.31 ERA in four Grapefruit League outings. Other pitchers scheduled to see action include closer Glen Perkins, Casey Fien and Fernando Abad.
Up next for the Rays: Right-hander Jake Odorizzi will make his fourth spring start for Tampa Bay in Bradenton, Fla., against Pittsburgh in a 6:05 p.m. ET game Saturday. He has a 1.59 ERA with six strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings this spring. The game will be shown on MLB.TV.
Greg Zeck is a contributor to MLB.com.