The Minnesota Twins were coming into a Sunday matinée looking to take the final game in the series with the Tampa Bay Rays. After dropping the first two in large part to a non-existent offense, Sunday was a shot to spark the bats. Unfortunately however, the Twins got behind early and weren’t able to claw back.
Desmond Jennings opened the game with a leadoff double for the Rays. Shortly thereafter, James Loney found himself up with the bases loaded facing Minnesota’s starter, Kevin Correia. Loney’s single to right scored both Jennings and Ben Zobrist, while moving Matt Joyce up to second.
Correia would get out of the first inning with a deficit only at 2-0.
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The Rays added another run in the top of the second inning, this time on a Zobrist sacrifice fly. The ball was hit deep enough to center that Sam Fuld didn’t have a chance to throw out Kevin Kiermaier crossing the plate for the Rays. Headed into the bottom of the second frame, the Rays found themselves in command with a 3-0 lead.
A Josh Willingham single in the bottom half of the inning scored Oswaldo Arcia to get the Twins on the board. However, the one run was all they could muster, and the second would end with the score standing at 3-1 in favor of Tampa Bay.
The Rays answered back quickly, and in the top of the third inning, a Yunel Escobar double scored Evan Longoria for Tampa Bay. Loney would find himself stranded at third, and the Twins went into their half of the third inning facing a 4-1 deficit.
Once again in the top of the sixth inning, the Rays would inflict some damage. Longoria stroked a double to left field driving in Joyce and putting the Rays ahead comfortably at 5-1.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Twins looked to be mounting their best chance to rally. Needing four runs to even the game up, Trevor Plouffe came across to score on a Chris Archer wild pitch to get the scoring going for the Twins. With Kendrys Morales on third, Willingham drove in the run thanks to a fielder’s choice. Eduardo Escobar then flew out to end the inning, leaving the score to read 5-3 Tampa Bay.
The Twins would try to rally once again in the ninth. With the shaky Grant Balfour on the mound, both Kurt Suzuki and Sam Fuld walked to give the Twins two baserunners with only one out. After a Tampa Bay pitching change, Brian Dozier grounded out and Eduardo Nunez popped out to end the rally for the Twins.
Check out the official box score for the full break down.
Unfortunately for the Twins, a sweep was not the way they wanted to come out of the All Star break. Once again offense was in short supply for Minnesota, and only Kendrys Morales was able to muster a multi-hit performance. Kevin Correia turned in one of his worst starts in over a month, pitching rather inefficiently, while getting knocked around the yard.
Minnesota will look to rebound tomorrow as they open another series at home against the Cleveland Indians. Tomorrow’s starters will be T.J. House for Cleveland and Kris Johnson for Minnesota. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 pm central time.