Rays find a way at the end, beat Twins in 10 innings

Marc Topkin, Tampa Bay Times on

Published in Baseball

MINNEAPOLIS — The Rays wasted several chances and were foiled by the Twins in a few others to take a lead in the late innings of Wednesday’s game.

Then in the 10th they got a break and broke through, scoring a run on an errant throw and holding on for a 3-2 win over the Twins.

The Rays went ahead when Randy Arozarena scored on an errant throw to first by third baseman Royce Lewis, who fielded Jonny DeLuca’s grounder.

That was after the Rays got a bad break earlier in the inning.

With speedy Jose Siri the runner placed at second, Arozarena was hit by a pitch to put two on. Jorge Alcala’s first pitch to Richie Palacios was well inside and got past catcher Christian Vazquez. But the ball caromed off the back wall right to Vazquez, who threw out Siri as he tried to get to third.

Phil Maton, who gave up a walk-off hit Tuesday, got the final three outs on Wednesday. The Rays improved to 35-39 with the win.

The Rays got a solid start from Taj Bradley, who held the Twins to two runs over six innings while throwing a career-high 104 pitches.

The Rays wasted their best chance to go ahead in the eighth despite three walks by reliever Josh Staumont, as the Twins flashed some leather.

Arozarena and Palacios started the inning with walks, but DeLuca couldn’t get down a bunt before striking out. Jose Cabellero grounded a ball to the left side that shortstop Carlos Correa snared and thew to third to force Arozarena. After Taylor Walls walked to load the bases, Yandy Diaz lashed a 107.9-mph liner to left that Austin Martin leaped to snare.

That, after scoring one run in the seventh to tie the score 2-2, but failing to add on.

After Ben Rortvedt singled with one out, pinch-runner Caballero, who leads the American League in steals, swiped second and went to third when Correa couldn’t handle the throw.


That paid off, after Walls walked, as Diaz hit a slow roller down the third base line that scored Caballero to make it 2-2.

That left the Rays with two on and one out, but Twins lefty Steven Okert didn’t let them home, getting pinch-hitter Amed Rosario to ground into a fielder’s choice, walking Isaac Paredes and getting pinch-hitter Siri to also ground into an out.

As in the first four games of the road trip, the Rays scored first again Wednesday. Having left runners in scoring position in the first two innings, Paredes took matters into his own hands in the third, swatting a two-out homer. And like the first 63 of his career, it went toward left field.

The lead didn’t last long. Bradley allowed a leadoff single to No. 9 hitter Martin, then another to Willi Castro that put runners on the corners. Trevor Larnach hit a ground ball to first that Diaz turned into a nifty double play, but Martin scored to make it 1-1.

The Twins took the lead in the fifth when Bradley made one his few mistakes. With two outs and no one on, he left a 2-2 cutter over the plate, and Lewis knocked it 410 feet over the left-field wall.

Bradley, the 23-year-old, second-year starter, worked six strong innings, allowing two runs on seven hits in his third straight start increasing his career-high number of pitches.

The Rays knew they were giving up a good starting pitching prospect when they made the unusual-for-them July 2021 trade with the Twins to add veteran slugger Nelson Cruz.

But Cruz struggled with the Rays, hitting just .226 with a .725 OPS. And Joe Ryan turned into the strong starter the Rays expected.

He reminded them Wednesday, allowing one run, six hits and a walk over six innings, striking out five, logging 19 swings-and-misses.

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