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Twins 4, Rays 3


Twins 4, Rays 3
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. (AP) - Scott Kazmir felt so good in his first spring training game that he had to concentrate on taking it easy.

Kazmir pitched two innings in the Tampa Bay Rays' 4-3 loss to the Minnesota Twins on Monday, yielding one run and three hits.

"Everything felt incredible; that's seriously the best my arm has ever felt," he said. "At the same time, I felt like I wanted to take it easy this first start. I knew once I got out there and got a hitter out there in a real game, the adrenaline was going to be there so I didn't want to overdo it."

Kazmir said he went "about 85 percent," and it caught up with him in the second inning. The All-Star left-hander allowed three hits in his last inning of work, including David Winfree's RBI double.

Twins outfielder Delmon Young hit a two-run homer and finished with three RBIs against his former team. Young, the first overall pick in the 2003 draft, was acquired from the Rays in a six-player deal in November 2007.

"He put some good swings on it today." manager Ron Gardenhire said.

Young's performance was an encouraging sign for the Twins, who haven't been able to get All-Star catcher Joe Mauer (back pain) on the field this spring. The reigning American League batting champion will undergo a magnetic resonance arthogram Tuesday to try to determine the source of the discomfort.

"This is another effort to try to figure out where we are at and what we need to do," Gardenhire said. "He's not on the field yet. He's not able to consistently go out and do anything. Concerned? Yeah."

Mauer had surgery Dec. 22 to remove a blockage from one of his kidneys and had been limited to working out in the weight room and conditioning drills. He hit .328 with nine homers and 85 RBIs last season.

Kevin Slowey allowed two runs and four hits in 3 1-3 innings for Minnesota. He struck out four and walked none.

Tampa Bay's Elliott Johnson hit his third homer of the spring in the ninth inning.

"We're doing so many good things on defense and on the bases," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "We just haven't hit our stride at the plate yet."

Notes: RHP Jeff Niemann shut out the Twins over the final four innings, allowing just two hits and a walk. ... Right-hander Matt Garza will make his spring debut for Tampa Bay on Tuesday against Toronto, as will Andy Sonnanstine and prized lefty David Price.


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: March 9, 2009

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