Twins
Rays
4 - 1 Final
  for this game

Liriano leads Twins past Rays

Sep 21, 2008 - 9:48 PM ST. PETERSBURG, Florida (Ticker) -- The Minnesota Twins haven't given up hope just yet.

A day after watching the Tampa Bay Rays celebrating their first playoff berth, the Twins kept their own playoff hopes alive as Francisco Liriano allowed one run in seven innings and remained unbeaten since returning to the majors in a 4-1 victory on Sunday.

The Rays (92-62), who clinched their first playoff berth in franchise history on Saturday, rested five starters and managed only five hits, three from B.J. Upton, against Liriano.

The Twins are still chasing the Chicago White Sox for supremacy in the American League Central, but had lost six of their last seven contests coming into the day. Minnesota (84-72) trails the White Sox (86-69) by 2 1/2 games, and the teams meet in a three-game series at the Metrodome starting Tuesday.

"We've got a shot now," Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We haven't played good baseball on this road trip, but we've played well at home. The guys are pretty fired up about this. We'll go home and see if we can take care of our business and make it pretty entertaining."

With the Boston Red Sox (91-64) defeating the Toronto Blue Jays Sunday, the Rays' lead in the American League East was reduced to 1 1/2 games. Tampa Bay's magic number to clinch the division remained at six.

Liriano (6-3), who was coming off an awful outing on Tuesday during which he lasted just 2 2/3 innings, turned it around against the Rays. The southpaw struck out seven, giving up one run and five hits, as he won his sixth straight decision. Since returning from the minors in August, Liriano is 6-0 in 10 starts.

Minnesota's Joe Nathan worked a perfect ninth to record his 38th save.

"We made a couple of mistakes we haven't been making," Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. "When you face Liriano, he's got that slider and fastball going. The whole game was dictated by pitching on both sides. Liriano beat us. That's the story of the game."

Liriano's only blemish was Carlos Pena's sacrifice fly that gave the Rays a 1-0 lead in the third. But the Twins' offense answered with a four-run fourth inning to take control for good.

Mike Redmond, Adam Everett and Carlos Gomez each delivered RBI singles and a fourth run scored on third baseman Evan Longoria's throwing error - his first of two on the afternoon.

"This is a huge win," Redmond said. "There's hope for us. Everyone knows about the road trip we've had - obviously we haven't played well. But we're in control of our destiny."

Tampa Bay starter Andy Sonnanstine (13-8) failed to set a franchise record in wins, giving up four runs - two earned - and seven hits in 6 2/3 innings. He walked two and struck out four.

"It drains your energy going through all the emotional celebrations," Sonnanstine said. "(Saturday's win factored) a little bit, but we knew we had a game (Sunday)."

The Rays finished with a 57-24 home record this season, tied for the eighth-most home wins by an AL team since 1961. They will finish of the regular season on the road with four-game sets against the Baltimore Orioles and Detroit Tigers as they try to continue to fend off the Red Sox and win their first division championship.

"This is a big road trip, we want to win the division," Upton said. "It's back to work tomorrow."








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

    BATTERIES: MIN - FRANCISCO LIRIANO, JOSE MIJARES (8TH), JOE NATHAN (9TH) AND
    MIKE REDMOND
    TAM - ANDY SONNANSTINE, TREVER MILLER (7TH), TROY
    PERCIVAL (8TH), JASON HAMMEL (9TH)

    Sep 21 4:15 PM
  • 15
    roots
    McTool Added 5 roots

    Twins 4, Rays 1  Top 9, 0 OutsSep 21 4:02 PM
  • 10
    roots
    shopgirl Added 5 roots

    Twins 4, Rays 1  Bot 7, 0 OutsSep 21 3:35 PM


  • AL
    AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY CARLOS GOMEZ SCORED ADAM EVERETT.
    SITUATION: 4 RUNS IN, C GOMEZ ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: MINNESOTA 4
    TAMPA BAY 1 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: D SPAN (.298, 0-FOR-2)

    Twins 4, Rays 1  Top 4, 0 OutsSep 21 2:48 PM


  • AL
    AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY ADAM EVERETT SCORED JUSTIN MORNEAU. ERROR BY EVAN
    LONGORIA ALLOWED MIKE REDMOND TO SCORE.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, A EVERETT ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: MINNESOTA 3
    TAMPA BAY 1 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: C GOMEZ (.255, 0-FOR-0, BB)

    Twins 3, Rays 1  Top 4, 0 OutsSep 21 2:47 PM


  • AL
    AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MIKE REDMOND SCORED JOE MAUER.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M REDMOND ON FIRST, J MORNEAU ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: MINNESOTA 1
    TAMPA BAY 1 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: B BUSCHER (.305, 0-FOR-1)

    Twins 1, Rays 1  Top 4, 0 OutsSep 21 2:37 PM


  • AL
    AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY CARLOS PENA SCORED MICHEL HERNANDEZ.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, B ZOBRIST ON FIRST, B UPTON ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: MINNESOTA 0
    TAMPA BAY 1 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: E LONGORIA (.280, 0-FOR-1)

    Twins 0, Rays 1  Bot 3, 0 OutsSep 21 2:28 PM
  • 5
    roots
    GREGnKY Added 5 roots

    Twins vs. RaysSep 21 10:27 AM