– Jake Cave didn’t give it a thought, didn’t worry about the risk. When Tampa Bay second baseman Brandon Lowe lofted a two-out pop fly into shallow center field Thursday night, Cave raced toward the infield and threw his body at the sinking ball. His glove reached the turf just before the ball, ending the inning and preventing two Rays runs from scoring.

“I don’t care about [a potential injury]. I’ll dive and slide and do whatever, even in the spring,” the Twins center fielder said of his catch, which drew a hand even from the Rays fans at Charlotte Sports Park. “I’m still trying to get my timing down, get my feel at the bat, but if I can help out on defense, you know, the pitchers need their confidence too.”

Lefthander Adalberto Mejia threw two scoreless innings, thanks to Cave’s heroics, but the Twins offense managed only two hits off Rays pitching, and the Twins lost 1-0 to Tampa Bay.

Fernando Romero threw a scoreless inning as well, giving the righthander three in Grapefruit League play, but the Twins received only a third-inning triple from Ehire Adrianza and a ninth-inning single from Class AA infielder Jordan Gore.

The Rays had only eight hits, but one of them was a two-out single by Lucius Fox in the sixth inning off Preston Guilmet, scoring Austin Meadows, who had doubled.

PHIL MILLER