Game called early due to rain, Twins lose to Pirates

The Minnesota Twins' Brian Dozier slides safely into third base with a triple past Pirates third baseman Josh Harrison.

Brynn Anderson/Brynn Anderson/Associated Press

FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — Gregory Polanco and Tony Sanchez hit solo home runs to lead the Pittsburgh Pirates to a rain-shortened 4-2 win over the Minnesota Twins on Friday.

The game was called in the top of the eighth inning.

Sanchez’s opposite-field shot was his third homer this spring.

"He’s playing as well as I’ve ever seen him play," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "He’s playing with confidence. He came to work. He came to get better. He came to make the club, regardless of what personnel was in place."

Both Pirates homers came off Trevor May, who was making his final bid to open the season in the big league rotation. May was lifted after 4 2/3 innings, having allowed four runs on eight hits and a walk.

Left-hander Tommy Milone appears to have the upper hand in that three-way competition with May and veteran right-hander Mike Pelfrey. A decision is likely Saturday.

Brian Dozier singled, tripled and made a leaping catch of a line drive behind second base for the Twins.

Pirates 4, Twins 2

Torii Hunter walked twice and singled but also was picked off first. Joe Mauer added an RBI groundout.

Starting time: May posted a 4.22 ERA in three Grapefruit League outings and also tossed three solid innings against minor league competition, but he struggled with fastball command against the Pirates.

"He gave up some hard-hit balls," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "He got dinged up a little bit. Probably wasn’t his best day, but overall no complaints with that young man this spring."

Trainer’s room: C Josmil Pinto (head injury) was cleared for full baseball activities and is nearing a return to game action. The Twins have submitted Pinto’s test results to Major League Baseball under the concussion protocol and are awaiting approval to use him in a minor-league game.  . . . LHP Brian Duensing (bruised left quad) returned after taking a comebacker off the leg on Tuesday and recorded four outs without giving up a baserunner.

Up next: RHP Ervin Santana is scheduled to start at home against the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday.