PORT CHARLOTTE, FLA. – The Twins hit three home runs on Wednesday. They could have used one more.
Andrelton Simmons, Ryan Jeffers and Trevor Larnach connected for the Twins, and Willians Astudillo contributed an RBI ground-rule double. But Joey Wendle's two-run shot off Michael Pineda staked the Rays to a lead, and Willy Adames' two-run homer provided the winning margin as Tampa Bay handed the Twins a 7-6 Grapefruit League loss at Charlotte Sports Park.
Pineda was mostly effective for four of the five innings he pitched, but surrendered a costly four-run third inning, partly due to a mistake by left fielder Brent Rooker.
With two runners on base, Rooker fielded Yandy Diaz's line-drive single, and third baseman Josh Donaldson positioned himself near the pitcher's mound, assuming Rooker would throw to home plate. But Rooker threw to third base, where no fielder was standing, and the ball bounced to the dugout, allowing a second run to score.
Moments later, Wendle launched a slider from Pineda into the right-field bullpen.
For Simmons, the solo homer he hit to center field was a nice turnaround to a slow start (1-for-17) to spring training. He also singled in the fourth inning, lifting his spring average to .150.
Adames' homer in the sixth inning broke a 5-5 tie. It was the fourth home run allowed in 5⅓ innings this spring by Duffey, who gave up only two during the 2020 season.