ST. PETERSBURG (620 WDAE) -- The Tampa Bay Rays blew a four-run eighth inning lead, but then rallied to tie the game with two out in the bottom of the ninth, and walked off an inning later with a 8-7 10-inning victory over the Minnesota Twins Friday at Tropicana Field.
ROSARIO, KEPLER BLASTS GIVE TWINS THE LEAD: Tampa Bay led 6-2 going into the top of the eighth inning, but Robbie Grossman started the inning with a walk from reliever Jose Alvarado. After Jason Castro struck out, manager Kevin Cash turned to Sergio Romo to try and get through the inning. Brian Dozier singled and Romo walked Joe Mauer to load the bases, but Miguel Sano struck out, and the right-hander got ahead of Eddie Rosario 0-2 before the Twins left fielder went down and golfed a 74 MPH slider into the right-field seats for a grand slam to tie the game.
Ryan Yarbrough struck out Logan Morrison to end the eighth, but Max Kepler got a hold of a pitch in the zone in the ninth and broke the tie with his fourth home run of the year.
TAMPA BAY RALLIES IN NINTH: But credit the Rays for not throwing in the towel after seeing their four-run lead turn into a one-run deficit. Tampa Bay was down to their final out in the game when Twins closer Fernando Rodney hit Carlos Gomez with a pitch. Gomez then stole second base and scored on a Brad Miller base hit to make it a 7-7 ballgame.
SPAN'S BIG NIGHT CULMINATES IN WALK-OFF WIN: Denard Span finished with a pair of hits on the night and three RBI. Two came on his double in the fifth that gave the Rays a 3-2 lead. Span then extended the lead to 5-2 in the seventh with a base hit that plated Mallex Smith, and when Robbie Grossman couldn't field the ball cleanly, also allowed Adeiny Hachavarria to score.
But the left fielder's biggest spot at the plate came in the bottom of the tenth after Wilson Ramos doubled and Hechavarria was intentionally walked with two out. Span hit a ground ball that was flagged by Mauer going to his right. The Twins first baseman then threw to reliever Zach Duke, who went over to cover the bag. However, Duke could not find the bag with his foot and pinch-runner Johnny Field came around to score the winning run.
ARCHER FLIES THROUGH NEARLY SEVEN: Rays starter Chris Archer began the game with strikeouts of Brian Dozier and Joe Mauer and had very few troubles throughout his outing Friday.
Archer allowed just four hits total, with Minnesota's runs coming on a solo homer from Logan Morrison in the second, his first as a Twin, and an RBI groundout by Robbie Grossman in the fifth. He walked one and struck out five in 82 pitches.
Rays vs Minnesota Twins, 6:10 p.m. first pitch, coverage on WDAE begins at 5:00 with The Inside Pitch presented by Crown Eurocars
Rays starter - LHP Blake Snell (2-1, 2.95 ERA)
Twins starter - RHP Kyle Gibson (1-0, 3.68 ERA)
Sunday - Rays vs. Minnesota Twins, 1:10 p.m. first pitch (TBD vs TBA)
Monday - OFF
Tuesday - Rays at Baltimore Orioles, 7:05 p.m. first pitch