Ramirez, Nolasco sharp as Rays rally for win

Ramirez, Nolasco sharp as Rays rally for win

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Twins right-hander Ricky Nolasco tossed six scoreless innings, but closer Glen Perkins couldn't hold a two-run lead as the Rays rallied for a 5-2 win on Wednesday.

Perkins, making his sixth appearance of the spring, gave up three runs (two earned) in the seventh inning. Rays catcher Mayo Acosta tied the game with a two-run double before scoring the lead run on a two-out throwing error from shortstop Eduardo Nunez. It was the third throwing error in two games for Nunez.

Nolasco, competing for a spot in the Twins' rotation, strengthened his case, scattering three hits and walking two while striking out seven. But Nolasco's strong performance did come against a Rays lineup that didn't feature any regulars after Tuesday's game in Cuba and the club's delayed flight back to Florida early Wednesday morning.

Acosta's two-run double

"I was able to locate the fastball, and everything kind of goes off that," Nolasco said. "The main thing was getting the leadoff guys out. That's something I've struggled with this spring. It makes it not just easier, but a lot easier. And I was able to do that for the most part."

The Twins got on the board in the third against reliever David Carpenter when Danny Santana drove in Nunez, who led off with a single, went to second on a throwing error and came home on a sacrifice fly.

Two more throwing errors keyed Minnesota's run in the sixth. Santana reached on a bunt single, stole second base and advanced to third when Acosta's throw sailed into center field. Braxton Lee's throw from center ended up in left field, allowing Santana to score on the play.

Santana scores on an error

Left-hander Dana Eveland started for the Rays, throwing two scoreless innings. Eveland, a non-roster invitee, gave up one hit, a leadoff infield single to top prospect Byron Buxton.  

Eveland still in Rays' bullpen mix

Rays righty Erasmo Ramirez entered in the bottom of the fourth and finished the game for Tampa Bay. He allowed one run and struck out eight over six strong innings.

"Yeah, I like it, because all my pitches are working," Ramirez said when asked if he was happy with his spring so far. "I throw them for strikes, every one. And mix it up, that's a big deal now, no matter who's hitting. Just go and mix my pitches."

The Rays added two runs in the ninth on Acosta's second run-scoring double and Justin Williams' RBI single.

Up next for the Rays: Right-hander Matt Andriese will start on Thursday night when the Rays travel to Tampa for a 6:35 p.m. ET contest against the Yankees that will air on Gameday Audio. Left-hander Enny Romero and right-handers Steve Geltz and Danny Farquhar are also expected to pitch.

Up next for the Twins: Left-hander Tommy Milone starts for the Twins on Thursday when they travel across the state to face the Marlins in Jupiter, Fla. First pitch is scheduled for 12:05 p.m. CT, and the game will air on Gameday Audio. Milone, who is competing for a spot in the rotation, has posted a 2.00 ERA in three Grapefruit League outings. Other pitchers scheduled to see action include Ryan Pressly and Dan Runzler.

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