A two-run homer in the ninth inning Sunday by J.R. Towles off Josh Lueke was the difference as the Rays dropped their second game of the spring, and their second against the Twins, 5-3 at Charlotte Sports Park.
Jeremy Hellickson was on a 25-pitch pitch count but was able to turn that into two innings after using 16 pitches in the first inning and only six in the second.
The 2011 American League rookie of the year allowed a hit and hit a batter in his two scoreless innings.
Sean Rodriguez, battling for the shortstop job with Reid Brignac, reached base in all three plate appearances – two singles and a hit-by-pitch – and made a nice stop in the field, going to his right and dropping to his knees to field the ball.
First baseman Matt Mangini completed the play at first with a good scoop of Rodriguez's one-hop throw.
Center fielder Jeff Salazar homered in the fourth inning for the Rays.