Brignac has two hits, leads Rays over Twins 6-2; Marquis back with team 04 Apr 12

Fort Myers, Fla. (AP) – Reid Brignac went 2 for 2 with an RBI double in the Tampa Bay Rays’ 6-2 win over the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday.

Brignac raised his batting average for the spring to .333 after hitting a miserable .193 last year. He has been competing with Sean Rodriguez for a starting spot at shortstop.

Both of Brignac’s hits came off of Twins starter Liam Hendriks, who is getting ready to begin the season in Minnesota’s rotation while Scott Baker and Jason Marquis catch up after missing time this spring. Hendriks, who got his first major league start last September, gave up four runs on nine hits through 5 1/3 innings Tuesday.

Jeremy Hellickson, the American League Rookie of the Year last season, gave up two runs on six hits through four innings to lower his ERA to 9.00 and conclude a shaky spring training.

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Fort Myers, Fla. (AP) – Right-hander Jason Marquis has returned to the Minnesota Twins after a two-week leave to tend to his seriously injured young daughter.

Marquis threw a simulated game for the Twins on Tuesday, still wearing a hospital wristband. His 7-year-old daughter, Reese, was hurt in a bicycle accident in New York and under sedation for nine days with significant internal bleeding. She began to make enough improvement that he felt comfortable leaving her and coming back to the team.

Marquis said his daughter is likely to recover fully from her injuries.

The 13-year veteran was slated to be the fifth starter this season for the Twins, but he’ll stay behind for at least the first week while he gets back up to speed. The Twins are still sorting out his roster spot.