Rays rally in ninth to beat TwinsApr 17, 2011 - 3:26 AM
Down 3-1, Matt Joyce stroked an RBI single in the eighth inning off Minnesota reliever Matt Capps. Joe Nathan (0-1) then gave up a leadoff home run to Tampa Bay's Ben Zobrist in the ninth.
After B.J. Upton and Casey Kotchman drew back-to-back walks, Nathan retired John Jaso on a fly ball to left field. Jose Mijares took over on the mound and issued a two-out walk to Sam Fuld to load the bases for Damon, who lined a base hit to right field to give Tampa Bay its fifth straight win.
"It's just been great team wins," Zobrist said. "We've been battling throughout the game, been having great pitching. We've had good bullpen work by guys and have got big hits at the right time."
Joyce and Jaso both had two hits for the Rays, who have won six of eight since starting the season 0-6.
Tampa Bay's Jeff Niemann gave up three runs on eight hits and compiled six strikeouts in a seven-inning start. Damon's heroics made a winner out of Juan Cruz (1-0) after he pitched around a leadoff walk in the top of the ninth.
Jason Kubel clubbed a solo home run and Denard Span added an RBI triple for Minnesota, which has dropped four straight. Scott Baker allowed one run and four hits over seven innings.
"We did some good things today. We still missed opportunities to score runs, we still have got guys who aren't hitting now," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "When you score three runs it puts a lot of pressure to hold people."
Kubel gave the Twins a 1-0 lead in the second with a blast to center field. The visitors tacked on another run in the next frame when Luke Hughes grounded into a double play, scoring Alexi Casilla.
Fuld lofted a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the third to put the Rays on the board, but Span restored Minnesota's two-run lead in the fifth.
Baker recorded six strikeouts...Span finished 3-for-5...Tampa Bay was 2-for-13 with runners in scoring position...The Rays will look to sweep this four-game series on Sunday.
- MINNESOTA: 3
TAMPA BAY: 4
Apr 16 7:25 PM
- Johnny Damon single to right scored B.J. Upton with two out to win the game.
Twins 3, Rays 4 Bot 9, 2 OutsApr 16 7:24 PM
- Ben Zobrist lead-off Home Run (2) to right. B.J. Upton due up.
Twins 3, Rays 3 Bot 9, 0 OutsApr 16 7:05 PM
- Matt Joyce single to right scored Reid Brignac with two out. Runner on first and Felipe Lopez due up.
Twins 3, Rays 2 Bot 8, 2 OutsApr 16 6:47 PM
- Luke Hughes grounded out third to first. Runner on third with two outs and Delmon Young due up.
Twins 3, Rays 1 Top 5, 2 OutsApr 16 5:37 PM
- Sam Fuld sacrifice fly out to left scored Casey Kotchman. Runner on second with two outs and Johnny Damon due up.
Twins 2, Rays 1 Bot 3, 2 OutsApr 16 5:05 PM
- Luke Hughes grounded into a double play, second to short to first scoring Alexi Casilla. None on with two outs and Delmon Young due up.
Twins 2, Rays 0 Top 3, 2 OutsApr 16 4:47 PM
- Jason Kubel lead-off Home Run (1) to center. Michael Cuddyer due up.
Twins 1, Rays 0 Top 2, 0 OutsApr 16 4:28 PM
- MINNESOTA: 0
TAMPA BAY: 0
Top 1, 0 Outs
Apr 16 4:13 PM
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