Damon's 10th-inning HR gets resilient Rays by TwinsApr 15, 2011 - 6:34 AM
The Rays were shut out by Carl Pavano for eight innings and faced a 2-0 deficit heading into the bottom of the ninth.
But Matt Joyce hit a two-run double off Joe Nathan to send the game to an extra inning, and after Minnesota went back in front in the top half, Damon homered off Matt Capps (1-1) to give Tampa Bay its third consecutive win.
"Going up to that last at-bat, you know I'm 0-for-4 in the game and really couldn't do anything off Pavano, but you learn how to forget about it," Damon said. "You learn how to be in the moment and that's what I did."
Rays starter James Shields pitched seven innings and allowed two runs on nine hits and two walks. Both of his runs given up came in the sixth inning, when Delmon Young hit a sacrifice fly and Drew Butera singled in a run with the bases loaded.
Pavano made the 2-0 lead hold up with a masterful start. He gave up four hits and walked two, while striking out seven, in his second consecutive good outing. He limited Oakland to one run in eight innings last Friday.
The right-hander's effort put Minnesota in good position to rebound from Wednesday's 10-5 loss to Kansas City, but Nathan blew the opportunity to secure the win.
After retiring the first batter, Nathan gave up a double to Felipe Lopez and walked Ben Zobrist. He then delivered a low fastball on the outer part of the plate to Joyce, but not far enough out of the zone to prevent him from ripping it to the gap in right-center. Both runners scored to make it a 2-2 game.
The Twins went back in front in the 10th after Kyle Farnsworth (1-0) took the mound with one out.
Farnsworth retired the first batter he faced, but gave up a single to Matt Tolbert, who moved to second on a passed ball that tailed wide of catcher John Jaso.
Danny Valencia followed with a hard-hit grounder up the middle, and Tolbert beat B.J. Upton's off-line throw to slide in safely and give Minnesota the 3-2 edge.
But, like Nathan, Capps couldn't nail down the victory. After Sam Fuld singled with one away, Damon smacked a ball just over the fence in right field to end the game.
"We had plenty of chances," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We missed a lot of opportunities to score runs. That's probably where the game was lost more than anything else. We didn't put them away and good teams you've got to put away and we didn't do it."
Minnesota has dropped four of five overall...Butera started at catcher for the Twins in place of Joe Mauer, who missed the game with soreness...Valencia finished with three hits for Minnesota...Joyce had three hits for the Rays...Tampa Bay won five of eight meetings last season.
- MINNESOTA: 3
TAMPA BAY: 4
Apr 14 9:43 PM
- Danny Valencia single to center scored Matt Tolbert with two outs. Valencia advances to second on the throw. Runner on second and Drew Butera due up.
Twins 3, Rays 2 Top 10, 2 OutsApr 14 9:36 PM
- Matt Joyce double to center scored Felipe Lopez and Ben Zobrist with one out. Runner on second and Dan Johnson due up.
Twins 2, Rays 2 Bot 9, 1 OutApr 14 9:20 PM
- Alexi Casilla lined out to first. Bases loaded with two outs and Denard Span due up.
Twins 2, Rays 0 Top 6, 2 OutsApr 14 8:10 PM
- Delmon Young sacrifice fly to left scored Justin Morneau with one out. Runner on first and Jason Kubel due up.
Twins 1, Rays 0 Top 6, 1 OutApr 14 8:03 PM
- MINNESOTA: 0
TAMPA BAY: 0
Top 1, 1 Out
Apr 14 6:44 PM
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