Longoria sparkles as Rays down Twins

The Sports Network
7/4/2010 7:16:24 PM
Decrease Text SizeIncrease Text Size
Text Size

Minneapolis, MN (Sports Network) - Evan Longoria went 3-for-5 with three runs batted in and finished a home run shy of the cycle, as the Tampa Bay Rays downed the Minnesota Twins, 7-4, in the finale of a four-game set at Target Field.

Sean Rodriguez turned in a three-hit game, with a solo homer, and Gabe Kapler added a two-run pinch-hit double for Tampa Bay, which took three games in the series and has won four of five overall.

"The timely hitting is starting to show up again, more like we did earlier in the season," Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. "It seems like we have to wait several innings to get something going, but the timely hitting shows up and the bullpen has been very good."

James Shields (7-8) earned the win after allowing four runs on eight hits and one walk with two strikeouts in six-plus innings. The right-hander had dropped seven of his previous eight starts coming in. Rafael Soriano registered his 21st save of the season with a scoreless ninth.

Jim Thome had a two-run single and Justin Morneau went 2-for-4 with an RBI double and a run scored for the Twins, who have split their last six contests.

Nick Blackburn (7-6) was tagged with the loss for surrendering nine hits and seven runs -- four earned -- while walking two and fanning three over 6 1/3 innings.

Longoria's triple to right in the first scored Rodriguez, who led off the inning with a single, to give the Rays the early lead.

Minnesota answered with a run in the home half as Joe Mauer reached with a two-out single and came around to score on Morneau's double to tie things.

Rodriguez then put the Rays back in front with a leadoff homer to right in the third and they would tack on five more in the seventh to go ahead 7-1.

The first two batters singled to put runners on first and second before Blackburn's throwing error on Jason Bartlett's sacrifice bunt allowed a run to score. After Rodriguez grounded out, Carl Crawford was walked intentionally to load the bases. Longoria's single to center brought in two more and signaled the end of the afternoon for Blackburn.

"The whole time I knew I could get those guys out and had confidence I could go out there and get an out," Blackburn said. "If I don't throw that ball away it's a completely different story."

Brian Duensing took over and struck out Willy Aybar then gave up a two-run double to Kapler.

The Twins were able to get back three in the home seventh to cut the deficit to 7-4. Minnesota quickly loaded the bases on a pair of singles and a walk before Thome singled off the right-field wall that plated two. Grant Balfour replaced Shields and served up a run-scoring single to Delmon Young, but settled down to retire the next three hitters to limit the damage.

Randy Choate pitched a perfect eighth and Soriano closed the game out after giving up one hit in the ninth.

Game Notes

Both clubs will be well represented at this year's All-Star Game in Anaheim as Twins catcher Mauer was the top vote-getter overall and Morneau was selected as the starting first baseman...Rays outfielder Crawford and third baseman Longoria were voted in to start in the Midsummer Classic and they'll be joined by pitcher David Price...Shields improved to 3-1 in seven career starts against the Twins...Blackburn dropped to 5-1 in eight starts at Target Field this season.

Tampa Bay Rays (Photo: MLB)


(Photo: MLB)
Share This

Share This

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to FarkAdd to TwitterAdd to Stumble UponAdd to Reddit
Print this Story

Baseball Canada

Keep up with the latest on Canada's national programs from the governing body for amateur baseball in Canada.

Baseball Canada Website


TSN 1050: The Baseball Podcast : Episode 17 - Aug. 6th

Scott MacArthur, Richard Griffin & Gregor Chisholm discuss quiet trade deadline for the Blue Jays, struggling rotation & potential Biogenesis fallout.

TSN 1050: The Baseball Podcast: July 30 - Episode 15

Scott MacArthur & Toronto Star's Richard Griffin preview the trade deadline, Blue Jays' needs & being on Boston as Jon Lester rumours ramp up.

TSN 1050: Blue Lunch: July 9 - John McDonald

LA Angels infielder, John McDonald joined Blue Lunch to discuss his career from the time he left Toronto to the present.

More Podcasts

© 2014
All rights reserved.
Bell Media Television