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Longoria homers, Balfour perfect, Rays top Twins

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BY FRED GOODALL | March 2, 2014 05:05 PM EST | AP


PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. (AP) — Evan Longoria hit a two-run homer and Grant Balfour was perfect in his first appearance in a Tampa Bay uniform since 2010, helping the Rays beat the Minnesota Twins 6-3 on Sunday.

Jerry Sands also homered for the Rays, who got a quick third inning from Balfour, as well as 1 2-3 scoreless innings from starter Alex Cobb.

Offseason acquisition Ricky Nolasco allowed two hits in two scoreless innings for the Twins, who signed him to a $49 million, four-year deal this winter and are counting on the right-hander to help bolster a struggling pitching staff that posted a major league-worst 5.26 ERA last season.

Oswaldo Arcia and Brandon Waring hit solo homers for the Twins. Waring's shot was a mammoth drive that struck the roof of an island-themed bar and gathering spot beyond the left-centerfield wall.