The Tampa Bay Rays (46-35) needed eighteen innings, but came away with a 5-2 win over the Twins (52-28) in Minnesota on Thursday afternoon.
After a fifty-seven minute rain delay, the game finally began at 2:07 ET (1:07 Minnesota time), and started as many have lately for the Rays. Tampa Bay fell behind Minnesota early as opener Ryne Stanek allowed Minnesota to get two runs in the first inning - but Tampa Bay would answer quickly. The Rays came up with two runs in the top of the second as Michael Brosseau had an RBI double before Guillermo Heredia had an RBI single to tie the game 2-2.
Little did anyone know, that would be the only offense for quite some time. After Ryne Stanek left the game after two innings of work, the Rays bullpen put together seven more scoreless innings in regulation to keep Minnesota from accomplishing any more - however, the Twins pitching was equally as effective. Led by starter Martin Perez's seven innings of work, the Rays were never able to get more than their two run second inning against Minnesota.
So this game would head to extra innings. In extra innings Tampa Bay would use a bullpen of Oliver Drake, Emilio Pagan, Adam Kolarek, and Ryan Yarbrough to combine for nine more innings of scoreless baseball. Finally in the top of the 18th inning the Rays were able to break through off Minnesota reliever Ryne Harper (3-1, 2.97). After the Rays got the bases loaded, Yandy Diaz came away with a sacrifice fly to give the Rays their first lead of the game. Singles from Willy Adames and Ji-Man Choi followed and the Rays would build a 5-2 lead. Ryan Yarbrough (7-3, 4.62) came back for his third inning of work in the bottom of the eighteenth and was able to close out the wild, marathon victory for the Rays.
The win wraps up a ten game, three-city road trip for the Rays with a 3-7 mark on the trip. The Rays now return home for the final ten games before the All-Star break and it begins with a three game series against the Rangers on Friday night. First pitch Friday is scheduled for 7:10 PM - you can hear it beginning with Steve Carney and the Inside Pitch at 6 on 95.3 WDAE & AM 620, your home of the Rays.
Photo Courtesy Getty Images