by Steve Carney
The powers that be who will decide on Tampa Bay's fifth starter may have gotten a little help from one of the three candidates for the job Thursday.
Cesar Ramos threw shutout ball into the fifth inning, while Jake Odorizzi had his struggles but held on in a 5-4 victory over the Minnesota Twins in Port Charlotte, the team's sixth in a row.
The left-hander breezed through his outing, allowing just four hits and a walk in 4 2/3 innings while striking out six.
Twins starter Scott Diamond kept pace with Ramos until the fifth, when he would load the bases with one out. Ben Zobrist's ground ball would score Ryan Hanigan, while Desmond Jennings and James Loney would come home on a triple by Evan Longoria to make it 3-0.
The Rays added on in the seventh with an RBI single by Justin Christian, scoring Jerry Sands, followed by a double by Ray Olmedo that brought in Christian.
Minnesota go, and scored two more runs in the ninth to get back within a run before Odorizzi could finally get the game finished.
Tampa Bay can make it a full week of victories Friday with a win at home against Toronto. Erik Bedard is scheduled to start against Aaron Sanchez. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05.
NOTES: After the game, the Rays made another round of cuts, with RHP Brad Boxberger being optioned to Triple-A Durham. Pitchers Steve Geltz, Adam Liberatore, and Juan Sandoval, along with C Ali Solis, INF Cole Figueroa, 1B/OF Jerry Sands, and OF Justin Christian were all reassigned to minor-league camp.