by Steve Carney
Jose Lobaton had three hits, including a home run, but the Minnesota Twins used three late runs to come back and defeat the Tampa Bay Rays 6-4 Saturday in Port Charlotte.
Minnesota got on the scoreboard first, as Wilkin Ramirez singled off David Price with one out, stole second base, and scored on a single by Dan Rohlfing.
Lobaton tied the game an inning later, lifting his first homer of the spring, a solo shot, to make it a 1-1 game.
Price allowed two more runs in the top of the fourth on a bases-loaded walk to Aaron Hicks with two outs, then a fielding error by Evan Longoria on a Brian Dozier grounder allowed Eduardo Escobar to come home and make it a 3-1 game.
Tampa Bay made sure that lead was short-lived, as Yunel Escobar's RBI double plated Longoria to cut the lead to 3-2. James Loney then doubled to left field, bringing in Escobar with the tying run, and Lobaton's RBI single made it 4-3.
The reigning American League Cy Young Award winner left after five innings, allowing three runs, two earned, on nine hits, walking two and striking out seven.
Minnesota took the lead for good in the seventh, as Jim Paduch, in his second inning of relief, struck out Ryan Doumit, but allowed him to reach on a wild pitch. Chris Colabello drew a walk, and Darin Mastroianni was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Escobar then singled to right, bringing in pinch-runner Drew Butera and Colabello for a 5-4 advantage.
The Twins added an insurance run in the eighth as Butera doubled off Kyle Farnsworth and came home on a single by Colabello.
The Rays head to Steinbrenner Field Sunday for the only time this spring to take on the New York Yankees. Jeremy Hellickson is scheduled to start against Adam Warren. First pitch is at 1:05, with pregame coverage on 620 WDAE starting at 1:00.