Twins 5, Rays 3

Jeremy Hellickson made his first spring training outing a quick

one.

The reigning AL Rookie of the Year pitched two scoreless innings

for Tampa Bay on Sunday and the Rays lost to a Minnesota Twins

split squad 5-3.

Hellickson was on a pitch count of 25. He gave up a leadoff

single to Alexi Casilla and threw 16 pitches in the opening inning,

then needed only six pitches to retire the side in the second.

”I have all the confidence in the world in myself and I think

if I just go out there and take care of what I’m supposed to and

just control what I can control, I’ll be all right,” he said.

”I feel really good,” he said. ”I went out there and threw

strikes, and defense made two really good plays for me.”

Rays shortstop candidate Sean Rodriguez had two hits. He also

was hit by a pitch, a year after he was plunked 18 times.

Rodriguez also made a nice stop to help Hellickson escape an

early jam.

”I’m just trying to find that rhythm and hopefully keep it

going until April and not just have it in March,” Rodriguez

said.

J.R. Towles hit a tiebreaking, two-run homer in the top of the

ninth. Chris Parmelee also homered for the Twins.

Casilla had three hits, including an infield single off Fernando

Rodney in the third. The new Rays reliever allowed one run on two

hits and a wild pitch.

”I was just trying to put a good swing on the ball,” said

Casilla, who played winter ball in the Dominican Republic during

the offseason.

Playing nine innings in a split-squad game this soon in camp was

no problem for Casilla.

”It’s a good opportunity, everybody gets a chance to play,” he

said. ”It’s all about the health. This year everybody’s trying to

stay in the lineup.”

A day after homering off Twins opening-day starter Carl Pavano,

Matt Joyce delivered an RBI single.

Rays manager Joe Maddon expects to see more run production this

year. Tampa Bay has added Carlos Pena and Luke Scott to replace

Casey Kotchman and Johnny Damon.

”It depends on the ability of the personnel on what you’re

looking for,” Maddon said. ”We’re going to have guys in the

lineup every night that you can draw the creativity from, I

think.”

A major part of Maddon’s offense, Evan Longoria, will make his

spring debut on Tuesday when Tampa Bay hosts the Twins. The Rays

have been cautious with the third baseman since he was hit by a

pitch on his hand during an intrasquad game on Thursday.

NOTES: Rays LHP Matt Moore (lower abdominal strain) took the day

off after throwing a 32-pitch bullpen session on Saturday. He’s

expected to throw another bullpen session on Monday. … Rays RHP

Kyle Farnsworth will throw live batting practice to Pena, Scott and

possibly Sam Fuld on Monday morning.