Twins Build Big Lead, Hold On To 11-8 Win Over Rays

posted by Jaosn Barringer - 

The Tampa Bay Rays (48-46) lost to the Minnesota Twins (43-49) on Friday night at Target Field in Minneapolis.

The Twins built a huge lead early against the Rays, getting four runs to come across in the first inning.  When the Rays answered with a run in the top of the third, Minnesota answered with another four spot in the bottom of the third, keyed by Joe Mauer's three-run blast that lifted the home team to an 8-1 lead.  Nathan Eovaldi (3-4, 4.59) failed to finish the third inning, getting pulled after getting two outs in the second inning while allowing eight earned runs.

The Rays showed they had some fight in them as they tried to rally back in this one.  After getting one run in the fourth, they came up with a four-spot in the fifth inning thanks in large part to a Jake Bauers three-run home run.  Matt Duffy had a big RBI in the sixth and the Rays pulled within 8-7.

However, the Twins put some breathing room back into the ballgame with two runs in the sixth inning and another in the seventh to build an 11-7 lead.  Joey Wendle hit a solo home run in the ninth inning off of former Ray Fernando Rodney to pull within 11-8, but otherwise was able to close the game down with and secure the win for the Twins.

Former Ray Jake Odorizzi got the start for Minnesota - starting for the first time against his former team, he pitched four and a third innings allowing eight hits, six runs, five of them earned, while striking out three and walking one.  Trevor Hildenberger (2-2, 2.80) picked up the win out of the bullpen for Minnesota.

The Rays and Twins meet in game three of their four game series on Saturday afternoon in Minneapolis.  First pitch is set for 2:10 PM on Saturday - coverage gets underway with Steve Carney and the Inside Pitch at 1 PM on 620 WDAE & 95.3 FM throughout Tampa Bay.

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