Rays outlast Twins in 10 innings, 7-6

Marc Topkin, Tampa Bay Times on

Published in Baseball

MINNEAPOLIS — The Rays had a second straight victory and a series win over the contending Twins sitting right in front of them Thursday.

They rallied in the eighth inning to take the lead. They worked out of some trouble in the bottom of the inning. They added three insurance runs in the ninth.

And they nearly blew it before pulling out a 7-6 win in 10 innings.

After allowing the Twins to tie the game with four runs in the ninth, the Rays took the lead back in the 10th. Jonny DeLuca delivered the go-ahead run with a one-out single, scoring Taylor Walls, the runner placed at second to start the inning. Pete Fairbanks, who gave up the game-tying, three-run homer in the ninth, came back out to finish the game.

He got a huge assist from Jose Siri, who made a spectacular throw to third to nail Royce Lewis trying to move up from second to third on a fly out.

The Rays seemed positioned to win it in the ninth, when manager Kevin Cash opted for Chris Devenski to pitch with a four-run lead and he quickly made a mess. Devesnki allowed a homer to Carlos Santana, a double and a walk, and was quickly replaced by Fairbanks, who had been warming up originally.

Fairbanks got a ground-ball out and a strikeout, and quickly got ahead of Jose Miranda. But he left a 1-2 slider over the plate, and Miranda delivered a three-run homer to tie the game at 6-6.

The Rays rallied in the eighth to take the lead, with Amed Rosario delivering the go-ahead run with a pinch-hit double, scoring Richie Palacios, who stole second and was pinch-running for Isaac Paredes after his one-out single.

After the Rays took a 3-2 lead in the eighth, they did some work to maintain and extend it.

Lefty reliever Garrett Cleavinger allowed two of the three batters he faced in the bottom of the eighth to reach base, but Kevin Kelly came on to clean up the mess. Siri and Yandy Diaz launched homers in the top of the ninth to extend the lead.


The win was the Rays’ second straight, giving them a series victory over the contending Twins, and third in the last four games, evening their record at 3-3 on the nine-game road trip that concludes with a weekend series in Pittsburgh.

Overall, the Rays improved to 36-39 and moved ahead of idle Toronto and out of last place in the American League East, where they had been since June 9.

The Rays scored first, as they have in each of the first six games on the trip, on back-to-back doubles in the second by Josh Lowe and a warming Randy Arozarena off Twins starter Simeon Woods Richardson.

The Twins answered right back, as Santana singled, then scored on a two-out double by Kyle Farmer.

The Rays went back ahead in the top of the third when Alex Jackson — of the sub-.100 batting average — led off with a double, went to third on Diaz’s fly out to center and scored on Brandon Lowe’s sacrifice fly to right.

Then the Twins quickly got even again, with a two-out homer by Lewis, his ninth in 15 games this season, having returned to action June 4 after being hurt on opening day.

Zack Littell was confident his rough last start in Atlanta Friday — allowing seven runs (six earned) and lasting only two innings — was just a bad day, with no cause for concern or corrections.

And he proved that to be true with a solid bounce-back performance on Thursday, working five innings, allowing two runs, five hits and two walks while striking out five, though throwing 95 pitches.

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