Castro leads Twins with two-run homer

Castro leads Twins with two-run homer

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Catcher Jason Castro, who joined the Twins on a three-year deal in the offseason, connected on his first homer of the spring to lead Minnesota to a 5-2 win over the Nationals on Sunday at Hammond Stadium.

Castro crushed a two-run blast to deep right field off Nationals right-hander A.J. Cole in the second inning. Cole started for Washington, allowing four runs on four hits and a walk in 1 2/3 innings.

Right-hander Trevor May, who is competing for the fifth spot in Minnesota's rotation, also went 1 2/3 frames, but held the Nationals scoreless. Washington loaded the bases with two outs in the first, but May struck out Matt Skole to get out of the jam. May, looking to make the transition back to starting from relieving, came away pleased with the results.

"I felt as good as I could've asked for to be honest," May said. "I felt pretty fresh. I sat down and got back up, and nothing tightened up in my back. I felt like old Trevor."

May fans Skole with bases loaded

The Twins used a four-run second inning to their advantage, keyed by aggressive baserunning from Eddie Rosario and Byron Buxton. Rosario scored from first on a single down the right-field line from Chris Gimenez, while Buxton stole second despite a throw to first on a pickoff attempt. Buxton came around to score on a bloop single from Jorge Polanco.

"That one inning did us in," Nats manager Dusty Baker said. "We had a couple opportunities."

The Nationals got on the board in the third on an RBI groundout from Chris Heisey to score Michael Taylor, who reached on a single and stole second. Washington didn't score again until the ninth on an RBI groundout from Andrew Stevenson.

The Twins got the run back in the bottom half of the third on an RBI groundout from Max Kepler to score Brian Dozier. Dozier, making his spring debut, went 1-for-3 with a run scored. Buxton and Miguel Sano both doubled for Minnesota.

Nationals Up Next: Right-hander Tanner Roark, who will pitch for Team USA in this year's World Baseball Classic, makes his Grapefruit League debut when the Nationals head to Roger Dean Stadium to take on the Cardinals on Monday at 1:05 p.m. ET. Roark will be joined by Bryce Harper, Trea Turner, Anthony Rendon and fellow Team USA teammate Daniel Murphy.

Twins Up Next: Right-hander Ervin Santana, projected to be Minnesota's Opening Day starter for a second straight year, is set to make his Grapefruit League debut against the Marlins at 12:05 p.m. CT at Hammond Stadium. Other pitchers scheduled to throw include Brandon Kintzler, Taylor Rogers, Michael Tonkin, Justin Haley and Nick Tepesch.

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Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast.

Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.