PORT CHARLOTTE, FLA. – The Rays scored five runs in the bottom of the eighth to erase a five-run deficit and tie the Twins 6-6 on Thursday.
No extra innings were played in the Twins’ final exhibition game against a major league team. The Twins finished Grapefruit League play 16-13-3.
Twins reliever Ryan Pressly gave up four of the runs and got no outs in the inning in his final tuneup for the regular season. Joe McCarthy and Angel Moreno had two-run doubles for the Rays.
Joe Mauer, Miguel Sano and Jason Castro homered as the Twins took a 6-1 lead.
Mauer gave the Twins a 2-0 lead in the top of the fourth with his first homer of the spring, an opposite-field, two-run shot that followed Byron Buxton’s double.
Sano and Castro hit back-to-back homers in the sixth inning, and the Twins tacked on two more in the eighth when Trey Vavra had an RBI triple and scored on Chris Gimenez’s sacrifice fly.
Twins starter Hector Santiago gave up six hits and struck out three in 5⅓ innings.
Kennys Vargas stagnated on the Puerto Rican bench during the World Baseball Classic, then was hobbled when he fouled a pitch off his left foot upon returning.
The designated hitter/first baseman had a CT scan and a magnetic resonance imaging exam Thursday on his foot. The Twins reported there was no structural damage and said he would play in a minor league game on Friday.
With the 25-man roster set, Vargas is likely to start the season on the disabled list.
Home sweet home
The Twins have sold out their home opener Monday at 3:10 p.m. against Kansas City.
The weather forecast is decent — partly sunny with a high temperature near 60.
The Twins play their Rochester farm team at noon at Hammond Stadium before heading north.
Jose Berrios is in line to pitch for the Red Wings, as that would set him up to pitch Rochester’s season opener Thursday. The Red Wings might be using some players who were recently demoted by the Twins.
Thad Levine, the Twins general manager, said: “We discussed that, actually — the possibility there are Rochester players who might be upset, perhaps justifiably, about not being on the big league team. Could something happen?’’
The last time the Twins played the Red Wings in a spring-closing exhibition — on April 2, 2006 — Rochester won 15-3.