Game 11: Hendriks solid but Wood struggles in loss
FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Rays rallied for five runs off reliever Tim Wood in the eighth inning to hand the Twins an 8-5 loss on Tuesday at Hammond Stadium.
The loss, which was the Twins’ third over their last four games, dropped Minnesota to 6-5 in Grapefruit League play so far this spring.
What went right: Right-hander Liam Hendriks fared well despite the fact that Josh Willingham misplayed a fly ball to left field that he lost in the sun and led to two runs scoring with two outs in the second inning.
Hendriks was able to bounce back by throwing a scoreless third inning and ended up giving up two runs on four hits and a walk over three innings. He has a 3.38 ERA in three Grapefruit League outings and has worked to improve his pace on the mound.
Trevor Plouffe has shown no signs of rust despite missing the first few games of Spring Training with a sore hamstring. He went 1-for-2 with a two-run double in the second inning off Rays left-hander Matt Moore.
Catcher Dan Rolfing got the start at first base and made the most out of it by driving home Plouffe with an RBI double in the sixth. Ray Olmedo added an RBI triple before scoring on a single from Pedro Florimon.
Relievers Brian Duensing and Josh Roenicke each threw two scoreless innings in relief. They were helped by double plays, as the Twins turned three a day after turning five against the Cardinals in Jupiter on Monday.
What went wrong: Wood, who entered with a 0.00 ERA in four innings, had a shaky eighth inning, as he gave up five runs and recorded just two outs before Tyler Robertson was called in to clean up the mess.
Wood had trouble holding runners, as the Rays stole second base against him twice. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he still has faith in Wood, who is fighting for a spot in the bullpen, but that he needs to get better in the run game.
Willingham wasn’t charged with an error on the fly ball he lost in the sun in the second — as it was ruled as an RBI double — but it didn’t look good when the ball landed about 30 feet from him in left field. He simply never saw the ball off the bat and lost it in the sun, which can be easy to do without any clouds in the sky and the sun beaming into left field.
What they said: “We had really seven good innings of baseball and then Woody came in and ran into some problems. He couldn’t hold baserunners and was too slow to home and they were running all over him.” — Gardenhire said.
What’s next: Right-hander Vance Worley is set to start in an exhibition game against Team Puerto Rico in a 12:05 p.m. ET start at Hammond Stadium. Twins prospects Eddie Rosario and Jose Berrios are both on Team Puerto Rico and could see action in the game.
Injury update: Outfielder Darin Mastroianni (sore left hamstring) has been ruled out for Thursday’s split-squad action but could return this weekend. . … Outfielder Oswaldo Arcia (strained intercostal muscle) has also been ruled out for Thursday but took batting practice in the cage and could make his return this weekend as well.