Dozier powers Twins' offense vs. Pirates

Second baseman's RBI triple gives Minnesota boost at the plate

Dozier powers Twins' offense vs. Pirates

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Gregory Polanco and Tony Sanchez both homered to help carry the Pirates to a 4-2 win over the Twins on Friday at Hammond Stadium. The game was called in the eighth inning due to rain.

Twins right-hander Trevor May, competing for the fifth spot in the rotation, didn't help his cause by giving up seven extra-base hits in 4 2/3 innings, including the homers to Polanco and Sanchez.

"I needed to command the fastball a little better," May said. "I took the same approach I had all spring and last year, and try just to try to throw every pitch as well as I can and stay present. I felt like I stayed present, and I had a plan behind every pitch, but I didn't execute a few times. And sometimes, I felt like I executed, but they still made me pay for it. That's the way it goes sometimes."

Polanco got the Pirates on the board in a hurry with a one-out blast in the first inning. It was the first homer of the spring for Polanco.

Pittsburgh scored again in the second, when Jung Ho Kang tripled on a ball over the head of center fielder Aaron Hicks and scored on a double from Jaff Decker.

The Twins tied it up with two runs in the third against Pirates left-hander Jeff Locke, who is battling right-hander Vance Worley for the final spot in Pittsburgh's rotation. Danny Santana started the rally with a leadoff single before scoring on a triple from Brian Dozier. Joe Mauer brought home Dozier with an RBI groundout to tie the game.

But it was all Minnesota could do against Locke, who was able to pitch out of several jams. The lefty went 5 2/3 innings, surrendering two runs on eight hits and three walks with two strikeouts.

"I like the way he went out today," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "He was challenged [pitching] out of the stretch in the first inning, but he continued to compete and make pitches and stay away from the big inning."

Pittsburgh retook the lead in the fourth on a solo shot from Sanchez that was aided by the wind in right field. Right fielder Torii Hunter thought he had a chance at the fly ball, but it kept carrying over the fence.

The Pirates added an insurance run in the fifth on back-to-back doubles from Polanco and Starling Marte. May walked Sanchez and was removed in favor of left-hander Brian Duensing, who made his return after being hit on his right quad on a comebacker on Tuesday. Duensing showed no ill effects, as he tossed 1 1/3 scoreless frames.

Up next: Right-hander Ervin Santana, who is lined up to be the No. 2 starter in the rotation, is set to start against the Phillies at Hammond Stadium on Saturday at 12:05 p.m. CT. Other pitchers scheduled to see action include Glen Perkins, Casey Fien and non-roster invitee Blaine Boyer.

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.