Shields backed by 3 HRs as Rays top Twins 7-1

Shields backed by 3 HRs as Rays top Twins 7-1

The Tampa Bay Rays up their Grapefruit League record to 8-2 after their win in Ft. Myers over the Twins.

FT. MYERS - Backed by three home runs, James Shields picked up his second win of the spring, allowing just four hits over five innings as the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Minnesota Twins 7-1 before 7,490 fans at Hammond Stadium Tuesday afternoon.

The victory upped the Rays' record to 8-2 while the Twins fell to 8-5.

Elliot Johnson, who stirred up the Yankees after running over catcher Francisco Cervelli last Saturday breaking his wrist, was 3-for-5, including his first homer of the Grapefruit League season, scoring three times and driving home a pair.

Willy Aybar chipped in with two hits, a run scored and two RBIs.

Besides Johnson, Dioner Navarro and Evan Longoria also added round-trippers, each solo shots.

Shields was making his third start of the spring and by far this was his best outing. The right-hander was coming off a three-inning stint against the Phillies where he was touched up for a pair of runs, including a homer to Chris Coste.

Third-baseman Chris Basik drove in the Twins only run with a two-out single in the eighth off Jae Kuk Ryu. The former Yankee drove in pinch-runner Matt Tolbert.

NOTES: After the game the Rays trimmed their roster by three players, optioning LHP David Price, OF Justin Ruggiano and RHP Jae Kuk Ryu to the minor leagues. The moves bring the Rays spring training roster total to 47 players ..... Former Ray Delmon Young made his presence felt as he threw out Willy Aybar stretching a single into a double ..... Not making the trip to Ft. Myers, Carl Crawford and Young have yet to meet face-to-face since there were words exchanged via the newspapers regarding Young's offseason trade to Minnesota ..... Elliot Johnson also added a stolen base to his gaudy numbers ..... The Rays host the Yankees Wednesday at 1:05pm at Al Lang Field in St. Petersburg with Andy Pettitte going for New York and Andy Sonnanstine set to toe the rubber for Tampa Bay. There will be no radio or television and the game is a sellout.

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