by Steve Carney
Alex Cobb threw nearly two innings of shutout ball, and Evan Longoria hit his first home run of the spring, as the Tampa Bay Rays earned their first win of the Grapefruit League season, a 6-3 decision over the Minnesota Twins Sunday at Charlotte Sports Park.
Cobb gave up a pair of hits, but didn't walk anyone and struck out three in 1 2/3 innings.
The Rays got on the board in the third, as Desmond Jennings singled, went to third on a single by David DeJesus, and as Oswaldo Arcia's throw went out of play, came home for a 1-0 lead. Longoria then blasted a pitch on to the boardwalk in left field to extend the lead to 3-0.
Arcia would hit a solo homer off reliever Adam Liberatore in the fifth to get Minnesota on the scoreboard, but Jerry Sands would answer in the bottom of the sixth, knocking a Twins offering into the visiting bullpen for his first homer of the spring.
The Twins added another run in the seventh, but Tampa Bay came back with a run of their own thanks to an RBI single by Taylor Motter to get back to a three-run lead.
Ali Solis added a sixth run for the Rays in the eighth with an RBI double off Meier, scoring Justin Christian.
Minnesota got an RBI single by Jorge Polanco off Sam Runion in the ninth, but could not get any closer.
Tampa Bay will look to make it two spring wins in a row, when they welcome the Philadelphia Phillies to Charlotte Sports Park. Matt Moore is scheduled to start against former Rays Roberto Hernandez. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05.
Listen to manager Joe Maddon, Alex Cobb and reliever Grant Balfour below!