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Duensing, Twins blank Rays

Jul 4, 2011 - 9:37 PM Minneapolis, MN (Sports Network) - Brian Duensing went the distance, throwing a six-hit shutout as Minnesota pounded Tampa Bay, 7-0, in the opener of a three-game set at Target Field.

Danny Valencia went 3-for-4 with a three-run homer, Tsuyoshi Nishioka doubled in a pair of runs and Michael Cuddyer added a solo homer for the Twins, who have won five of their last six games.

Duensing (6-7) struck out seven and walked four in his second career shutout.

Casey Kotchman and Sean Rodriguez both went 2-for-4 for the Rays, who have lost four out of seven.

David Price (8-7) was tagged with the loss after giving up four runs on five hits over six frames.

Valencia sparked a three-run second inning with a leadoff single, then moved to third on a Jason Repko base hit. The following batter, Matt Tolbert, walked before Nishioka doubled to the right field corner to score Valencia and Repko. Tolbert scored on the next play, a ground out from Ben Revere.

"We've had a lot of things start to go our way which is great," Valencia said. "It's a sign of good things to come. We've always had confidence in ourselves, so I think now that were starting to click we're a little more successful."

Minnesota added a run in the third when Cuddyer launched a Price changeup into the second deck in left for his 12th homer of the season.

The Rays threatened in the fourth, but were unable to score after slick defense from the Twins. With runners on first and second and two outs Matt Joyce laced a screaming grounder in the hole, but second baseman Alexi Casilla made a diving stab and threw from his knees to save a run and end the frame.

"We had an opportunity early and really hit the ball hard right at the second baseman," Ray's manager Joe Madden said. "He (Duensing) started mixing in his breaking ball better and we hit some balls well. We were swinging the bats good and had legitimate shot, but it just went away."

The Twins put the game out of reach in the eighth after Valencia's blast. Joe Mauer was hit by a pitch before Cuddyer drew a walk, setting the table for Valencia, who launched an 0-1 slider into the left field stands.

Game Notes

Cuddyer has hit safely in 18 of the last 22 games...The Twins are 32-16 after scoring the first run...Johnny Damon (2,662) moved within one hit of tying Nellie Fox (2,663) for 68th on the all-time hits list...The Rays fell to 26-17 on the road.

  • TAMPA BAY: 0

    Jul 4 4:34 PM

  • Danny Valencia one-out, three-run Home Run (10) to left scored Joe Mauer and Michael Cuddyer. Luke Hughes due up.

    Rays 0, Twins 7  Bot 8, 1 OutJul 4 4:27 PM
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    Rays 0, Twins 4  Mid 5Jul 4 3:32 PM

  • Michael Cuddyer one-out, solo Home Run (12) to left. Danny Valencia due up.

    Rays 0, Twins 4  Bot 3, 1 OutJul 4 3:01 PM

  • Ben Revere grounded out second to first scored Matt Tolbert. On the play, Tsuyoshi Nishioka advances to third. Runner on third with two outs and Alexi Casilla due up.

    Rays 0, Twins 3  Bot 2, 2 OutsJul 4 2:48 PM

  • Tsuyoshi Nishioka doubled to right scored Danny Valencia and Jason Repko. On the play, Matt Tolbert advances to third. Runners on second and third with one out and Ben Revere due up.

    Rays 0, Twins 2  Bot 2, 1 OutJul 4 2:46 PM

  • TAMPA BAY: 0
    Top 1, 0 Outs

    Jul 4 2:10 PM
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    Rays vs. TwinsApr 17 6:01 AM