Brian Dozier's two-run homer in the eighth inning off Tommy Hunter broke a 2-2 tie, as the Tampa Bay Rays saw their three-game winning streak come to an end with a 5-3 loss at the hands of the Minnesota Twins Saturday at Target Field.
Danny Farquhar started the home eighth by walking catcher Chris Gimenez on four pitches. Eddie Rosario sacrificed Gimenez to second, and a groundout by Ehire Adrianza moved him to third. Manager Kevin Cash then went to Tommy Hunter to face Dozier, and the second baseman responded with an opposite-field blast, his seventh of the year. Joe Mauer followed with a double and scored on a base hit by Byron Buxton to extend the lead to 5-2.
Tampa Bay initially took the lead in the second, loading the bases with one out for Derek Norris, who scored Logan Morrison with a base hit. However, the rally was short-circuited when Steven Souza Jr. attempted to score on a Adalberto Mejia pitch in the dirt and was tagged out after Gimenez made a strong throw to the plate.
Minnesota loaded the bases in the next half-inning, and Jake Odorizzi, who struggled with his command again, was able to limit the damage to a Adrianza sacrifice fly that scored Kennys Vargas.
Norris again put Tampa Bay ahead in the fourth with a sacrifice fly that plated Kevin Kiermaier, but Odorizzi again could not hold the lead, allowing a solo homer to Eddie Rosario, his fourth of the year, to again knot the game at 2-2.
Colby Rasmus homered off Brandon Kintzler in the ninth to cut the deficit to 5-3, but Tim Beckham struck out to end the game.
The loss drops Tampa Bay back to .500 at 26-26 on the season.
The Rays still have an opportunity to take the series by winning Sunday afternoon's finale. Alex Cobb (4-4, 3.82 ERA) will get the start, taking on Kyle Gibson (1-4, 8.62 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 2:10, with coverage on WDAE starting at 12:00 with The Inside Pitch presented by Sykes Lakeland.
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