FORT MYERS, Fla. – The Twins split a pair of games Wednesday, losing 3-1 to Tampa Bay in Fort Myers and beating Houston 4-2 in West Palm Beach. Bench coach Derek Shelton ran the team at Hammond Stadium, while Twins manager Paul Molitor traveled with the squad to West Palm Beach.
Byron Buxton's first home run of spring training was all the offense the Twins could muster in the defeat to the Rays. Buxton homered off Rays righthander Matt Andriese on a pitch left up in the strike zone in the fifth inning. Buxton was 2-for-2 in the game, his other hit coming on an infield single in the second.
And that was it for the Twins, as the rest of the lineup went hitless against Tampa Bay pitching.
Willy Adames drove in the game's first run off Twins righthander Aaron Slegers in the first inning. The Rays also scored on an RBI groundout by Nick Solak in the fourth and an RBI single by Justin Williams in the eighth.
Tampa Bay collected 11 hits in the game, none of them for extra bases.
Slegers pitched three innings, allowing one run on four hits, to take the loss. He was followed on the mound by Fernando Rodney, Addison Reed, Zach Duke, Dietrich Enns and Hector Lujan.
In West Palm Beach, three Astros errors fueled the Twins' 4-2 victory. Ehire Adrianza, Nick Buss and Erick Aybar each had two hits.
Adrianza's two-run double in the third inning opened the scoring but Houston scored a run in the third and fourth innings to tie the score.
Bases-loaded walks by Zack Granite and Robbie Grossman against the Astros' David Paulino in the sixth put the Twins ahead for good.
LA VELLE E. NEAL III