8 - 2 Final
  for this game

Zobrist helps Rays slip past Twins

Apr 28, 2011 - 4:22 AM Minneapolis, MN (Sports Network) - Ben Zobrist drove in three runs while Johnny Damon extended his hitting streak to 14 games, as the Tampa Bay Rays downed the Minnesota Twins, 8-2, in a chilly start of the three-game series at Target Field.

Damon finished with two RBI for the Rays, who have won three straight and climbed over .500 for the first time this season. The Rays have been on fire since an 0-6 start and are now 12-11, good for second place in the AL East.

Tampa Bay starter Wade Davis (3-2) went 6 2/3 innings, allowing just two runs on seven hits for his third straight win.

"He did what he was supposed to do," Twins outfielder Denard Span said about Davis. "He threw strikes and we fell behind early. In conditions like this, it's hard to throw. A pitcher needs to throw strikes and that's what he did."

Alexi Casilla and Jason Kubel each drove in a run for the Twins, who had a three-game winning streak halted. Francisco Liriano (1-4) was rocked for seven runs on six hits in just three-plus innings.

The series was slated to start on Tuesday but rain caused a postponement and the teams played through snow throughout most of Wednesday's game. There will be a day/night doubleheader on Thursday.

Despite the cold temperatures, the Rays came out hot.

Sam Fuld led off the game with a double into right and came around to score on Damon's single. The Rays continued to get after Liriano, as B.J. Upton doubled to put runners on second and third with no outs, which set up Zobrist's base-clearing triple.

Sean Rodriguez singled in Zobrist to end the span of five-straight Tampa Bay hits to start the game and take quick 4-0 lead.

"Sam and John provide a lot energy for our team," Rays manager Joe Maddon said of his one and two hitters. "They've been doing that a lot as we've been playing better. They get our offense kick started."

Snow started to fall at Target field in the third when Kubel put the Twins on the board with an RBI single to score Matt Tolbert, who led off the inning with a double.

However, the Rays would answer with a three-spot in the fourth. Dan Johnson singled following by Reid Brignac and Fuld walks to load the bases. After that Liriano was pulled and his replacement, Eric Hacker, walked Damon to score Johnson. Control continued to be Hacker's issue as he walked the next batter, Upton, to push across Brignac. Zobrist, again, capped off the rally with a sac fly to center which plated Fuld.

Both teams scored in the seventh to account for the final score.

Game Notes

The Twins placed outfielder Delmon Young on the 15-day disabled list with sore ribs before the game, a move retroactive to April 19. Young participated in warmups before Wednesday's game against Tampa Bay, but did not feel ready. The team scratched him from the lineup and placed him on the DL...Twins slugger Jim Thome was not available with a strained oblique...Kubel pushed his hitting streak to nine straight games...Damon's 14-game hitting streak is the club's longest in April. Tampa Bay took three of four from the Twins earlier in the year and won five of the eight matchups between the clubs last season.

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    Rays 8, Twins 2  FinalApr 28 11:20 AM

  • TAMPA BAY: 8

    Apr 27 11:28 PM

  • Alexi Casilla sacrifice fly out to left scored Luke Hughes. Runners on first and second and with two outs and Jason Kubel due up.

    Rays 8, Twins 2  Bot 7, 2 OutsApr 27 10:45 PM

  • Felipe Lopez singled to right scored Sean Rodriguez. On the play, Felipe Lopez advances to second on Michael Cuddyer's Throwing error. Runner on second with none out and Kelly Shoppach due up.

    Rays 8, Twins 1  Top 7, 0 OutsApr 27 10:25 PM

  • Ben Zobrist sacrifice fly out to center scored Sam Fuld. Runners on first and second and with one out and Sean Rodriguez due up.

    Rays 7, Twins 1  Top 4, 1 OutApr 27 9:29 PM

  • B.J. Upton walked. Reid Brignac scored on the play. Bases loaded with none out and Ben Zobrist due up.

    Rays 6, Twins 1  Top 4, 0 OutsApr 27 9:27 PM

  • Johnny Damon walked. Dan Johnson scored on the play. Bases loaded with none out and B.J. Upton due up.

    Rays 5, Twins 1  Top 4, 0 OutsApr 27 9:24 PM

  • Jason Kubel singled to left scored Matt Tolbert. Runner on first with two outs and Justin Morneau due up.

    Rays 4, Twins 1  Bot 3, 2 OutsApr 27 9:10 PM

  • Sean Rodriguez singled to center scored Ben Zobrist. Runner on first with none out and Felipe Lopez due up.

    Rays 4, Twins 0  Top 1, 0 OutsApr 27 8:18 PM

  • Ben Zobrist tripled to right center scored Johnny Damon and B.J. Upton. Runner on third with none out and Sean Rodriguez due up.

    Rays 3, Twins 0  Top 1, 0 OutsApr 27 8:17 PM

  • Johnny Damon singled to center scored Sam Fuld. Runner on first with none out and B.J. Upton due up.

    Rays 1, Twins 0  Top 1, 0 OutsApr 27 8:14 PM

  • TAMPA BAY: 0
    Top 1, 0 Outs

    Apr 27 8:10 PM
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    Rays vs. TwinsApr 27 6:14 PM
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    Rays vs. TwinsApr 17 6:01 AM