FORT MYERS, FLA. – It was only Josh Donaldson's second at-bat of the spring, so it's too early to judge him by results. Once he's up in game shape, he'll be able to hit a ball farther than the, um, 417 feet his home run traveled on Sunday.
Donaldson's three-run blast, and a three-run shot by Keon Broxton that traveled two feet farther three innings later, carried the Twins to a 8-4 eight-inning victory over Tampa Bay at Hammond Stadium.
The Twins third baseman, his spring debut delayed to make sure his calf injuries don't recur, grounded out in his first at-bat, then two innings later ricocheted a high fastball from Rays righthander Collin McHugh off the batter's eye in center field, scoring Rob Refsnyder and Luis Arraez ahead of him.
"I feel like I'm moving around well. I've done a lot of running," Donaldson said of his four-inning stint at third base. "But you have to get into baseball shape. It's an explosive sport. By that I mean, it's sitting for 10-15 minutes, and then you go fast again. It's different, and you have to get ready for that."
The Rays rallied with two runs off Cody Stashak and single runs against Hansel Robles and Jorge Alcala to take a 4-3 lead. But three candidates for a reserve outfield spot on the Twins' roster combined in the sixth inning to put the Twins ahead for good. Gilberto Celestino doubled off Rays righthander David Hess, Kyle Garlick doubled him home, and after backup catcher Tomas Telis singled, Broxton hit an 0-1 fastball just short of the flag poles behind the left-field berm.
The Twins, now 3-4 in Grapefruit League play, have no game scheduled Monday, then face the Orioles on Tuesday at Hammond Stadium. Kenta Maeda is scheduled to start for the Twins.