MINNEAPOLIS-- Left-fielder Edwin Rosario had four hits, while second baseman Jonathan Scoop & catcher Mitch Garver hit solo home runs, as the Minnesota Twins beat the Tampa Bay Rays 9-4 on Tuesday night. The division leading Twins totaled 15 hits while Rays starter Blake Snell suffered through his third straight subpar performance & gave up seven runs in just over three innings.
After playing 21 games in the last 20 days, the Rays got a day off on Monday. Unfortunately their bats seemed to be resting for most of the game. Meanwhile, the Twins entered the game with the best record in the American League, even after splitting a four game series against the Kansas City Royals, the worst team in their division.
Minnesota was able to take a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning after a two-out infield single by right-fielder Willians Astudillo drove in Rosario, who led off the inning with a double off of Snell. The Twins, who entered the game 38-10 when scoring first added three more runs in the bottom third. The first run came when their number 9 hitter Schoop hit an 0-2 breaking ball from Snell over the left-field wall. And Rosario's second hit in two innings, this time a single to left brought in one run, while former Rays first baseman C.J. Cron blooped a single to right on another 0-2 pitch finished the scoring in the inning.
Snell struggles to put batters away through the first three innings included Twins' batters getting five hits when having two strikes. And after Garver hit a two-run single to left in the bottom of the fourth to give the Twins a six run lead, the Rays lefty was pulled & replaced by reliever Hunter Wood. Wood was greeted by an run scoring single by Rosario, who got hits in three straight innings, making the Rays deficit seven to nothing.
The Twins made it 8-0 when Wood was touched for a single run in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Rays shortstop Willy Adames ended any shutout talk when he led off the top of the sixth inning with a solo home run to left-field, his eighth of the year, all on the road. And in the top of the seventh, the Rays were able to put together four consecutive hits including the first career extra base hit by third baseman Mike Brosseau. The Rays rookie, who entered the game in the bottom of the sixth inning, sliced a double to right-field, driving in two runs & picking up his first career runs batted in. Then a triple by second baseman Brandon Lowe brought home Brosseau with the Rays fourth run.
Garver added a solo home run in the bottom of the eighth off of lefty reliever Adam Kolarek to finish the scoring.
The Rays, who have lost 10 of last 14 games, will look to rebound on Wednesday in the second game of the three game series when righty Charlie Morton (8-1 2.31) goes up against former Rays starter Joe Odorizzi (10-3 2.58). Coverage begins on 95.3 WDAE at 7 p.m. with the Inside Pitch & first pitch scheduled for 8:10 p.m.