Rays
Twins
7 - 3 Final
  for this game

Rays top Twins, halt three-game skid

Apr 18, 2008 - 4:40 AM By Brian Hall PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer MINNEAPOLIS (Ticker) -- For Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Jason Hammel, the answer to staying in the starting rotation is simple - just keep having outings like Thursday night.

Hammel went six strong innings, giving up three runs on six hits while striking out five, and Tampa Bay used a four-run fifth inning to beat the Minnesota Twins, 7-3, on Thursday night.

Carl Crawford and rookie Evan Longoria each had two hits and an RBI, and Eric Hinske added his fourth home run of the season in the winning effort.

J.P. Howell earned his first career save with three scoreless innings of relief.

A 6-foot-6 righthander, Hammel (1-1) was coming off a career-high seven-inning performance his last time out in a no-decision. With injured starters Scott Kazmir and Matt Garza throwing on the side, Hammel's spot in the rotation might be short-term.

"I am not thinking about that right now," Hammel said. "I am pitching to win like the other guys in the rotation. We're all throwing the ball well. I am confident I will stay in the rotation if I throw like this."

His counterpart Boof Bonser (1-3) allowed runs in four of the first five innings. But the righthander really ran into trouble in the fifth, surrendering an RBI single to Carl Crawford and then walking B.J. Upton to load the bases with no outs.

Bonser lasted just four-plus innings, giving up seven runs - six earned - as he walked two and failed to record a strikeout.

"I didn't feel like I had great stuff, but I felt like I could have stayed out there," Bonser said. "I mean, I was throwing pitches. Yeah, I threw a lot, but at the same time I wasn't getting them to hit it at anybody."

Tampa Bay kept things going off reliever Brian Bass as five straight batters reached base. Nathan Haynes added a two-run single and later scored on an RBI groundout by Jonny Gomes to make it 7-2.

The Rays were able to capitalize quickly against Minnesota. Leading off the game, Akinori Iwamura looped a liner into right field that right fielder Denard Span charged. But the rookie seemed to lose the ball in the lights, allowing Iwamura to go to second on the error. He later scored on an RBI groundout by Upton.

Upton went 1-for-4 with a walk, an RBI and two runs scored. He is 13-for-38 (.342) in his last 11 games with two home runs, 11 RBI and nine runs scored.

"To win games like that, of course we scored seven runs, but when you pitch like that, and we caught the ball, and we did all of the right things today, and that's why you win." Rays manager Joe Maddon said.

Hinske's second-inning home run gave Tampa Bay a 2-0 lead. Signed as a minor league free agent in February, Hinske earned a spot on the opening day roster and has been a mainstay in the lineup. He is second on the team in home runs, trailing only first baseman Carlos Pena.

Tampa Bay was dealt a blow when Pena left the game in the fourth inning after grounding to third. The Rays already have had a major league-high 10 players hit the disabled list this season.

Pena is listed as day-to-day and was optimistic after the game that the injury wasn't serious. He will be re-evaluated Friday.

"I think I went over my speed limit and my leg let me know," Pena said. "I felt some discomfort in the back of my leg, behind my knee, so I pulled up."

Longoria added an RBI single in the fourth.

Hammel made the early run support stand up. It was a welcome sight, for Tampa Bay had scored just two runs for him in the first two outings.

"When you get seven runs from your hitters early it makes it much easier," Hammel said. "It was nice, but it's ups and downs all the time. You can go out and give up eight runs, and they'll pull out nine runs for you. And there's other nights you go eight shutout innings and don't get a run. It's baseball."

The Twins pecked away with single runs in the third, fourth and fifth innings. Rookie Matt Tolbert, Delmon Young and Joe Mauer each had RBI singles.

"We just couldn't find a way to get some runs off that guy over there," Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said. "I thought we had a good chance there early in the game, but it got away from us. It looked like we were attacking and putting men on base, and had opportunities. But then the game got away from us in the fifth."

Tolbert's fourth multi-hit game of the season raised his average to .419 with a 2-for-4 night to go with a run scored and an RBI.








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    TAMPA BAY 1 1 0 1 4 0 0 0 0 7 11 0
    MINNESOTA 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 3 8 2 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: TAM - JASON HAMMEL, J.P. HOWELL (7TH) AND MIKE DIFELICE
    MIN - BOOF BONSER, BRIAN BASS (5TH), MATT GUERRIER
    (5TH), PAT NESHEK (9TH) AND JOE MAUER

    HOME RUNS: TAM -

    Apr 17 10:58 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JOE MAUER SCORED MATT TOLBERT.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J MAUER ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 7
    MINNESOTA 3 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: J MORNEAU (.241, 1-FOR-2)

    Rays 7, Twins 3  Bot 5, 0 OutsApr 17 9:59 PM
  • 5
    roots
    bigbelly Added 5 roots

    Rays 7, Twins 2  Bot 5, 0 OutsApr 17 9:53 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY JONNY GOMES SCORED B.J. UPTON.
    SITUATION: 4 RUNS IN, E HINSKE ON SECOND, N HAYNES ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 7
    MINNESOTA 2 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: M DIFELICE (.375, 0-FOR-2)

    Rays 7, Twins 2  Top 5, 0 OutsApr 17 9:48 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY NATHAN HAYNES SCORED AKINORI IWAMURA AND CARL
    CRAWFORD.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, N HAYNES ON SECOND, B UPTON ON THIRD, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 6
    MINNESOTA 2 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: E LONGORIA (.278, 1-FOR-2, RBI)

    Rays 6, Twins 2  Top 5, 0 OutsApr 17 9:39 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY CARL CRAWFORD SCORED JASON BARTLETT.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C CRAWFORD ON FIRST, A IWAMURA ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 4
    MINNESOTA 2 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: B UPTON (.310, 1-FOR-2, RBI)

    Rays 4, Twins 2  Top 5, 0 OutsApr 17 9:30 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY DELMON YOUNG SCORED JUSTIN MORNEAU.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, D YOUNG ON FIRST, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 3
    MINNESOTA 2 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: J KUBEL (.275, 0-FOR-1)

    Rays 3, Twins 2  Bot 4, 0 OutsApr 17 9:16 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY EVAN LONGORIA SCORED B.J. UPTON.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, E LONGORIA ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 3
    MINNESOTA 1 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: E HINSKE (.351, 1-FOR-1, HR, RBI)

    Rays 3, Twins 1  Top 4, 0 OutsApr 17 9:05 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MATT TOLBERT SCORED DENARD SPAN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M TOLBERT ON FIRST, C GOMEZ ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 2
    MINNESOTA 1 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: J MAUER (.294, 0-FOR-1)

    Rays 2, Twins 1  Bot 3, 0 OutsApr 17 8:55 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY ERIC HINSKE (4) TO RIGHT WITH 1 OUT IN THE
    2ND OFF BOOF BONSER.
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 2, MINNESOTA 0
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: J GOMES (.300, 2 HR, 6 RBI)

    Rays 2, Twins 0  Top 2, 0 OutsApr 17 8:26 PM


  • AL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    TAMPA BAY 1 1 0 0
    MINNESOTA 0 0 1 (BOT 1)

    CURRENT PITCHERS: TAM - JASON HAMMEL
    MIN - BOOF BONSER

    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: C GOMEZ (.262, 0 HR, 4 RBI)
    M TOLBERT (.407, 0 HR, 1 RBI)
    J MAUER (.300, 0 HR, 8 RBI)

    Rays 1, Twins 0  Bot 1, 0 OutsApr 17 8:15 PM