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DeLuca, Siri's 10th inning heroics lead Rays over Twins

Jose Siri and Brandon Lowe Tampa Bay Rays Jose Siri and Brandon Lowe - Getty Images

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Jonny DeLuca's line-drive single to center field in the 10th inning and a strong throw from center fielder Jose Siri to complete a double play in the bottom half of the inning helped Tampa Bay overcome a squandered four-run lead in a 7-6 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Thursday.

The Twins' Jose Miranda and Carlos Santana homered in the ninth inning and erased a 6-2 deficit before DeLuca connected on an 0-2 sinker from reliever Griffin Jax', scoring automatic runner Taylor Walls and giving the Rays the lead for good.

Tampa Bay (36-39) improved to a MLB-best 26-11 in games decided by two runs or less.

“I think everyone here knows I’ve been struggling a little bit and I’m trying to find it,” said DeLuca, who entered the game batting .151. “It's fun when it goes right.”

In the bottom of the 10th, Siri sprinted into right-center field to catch a fly ball by pinch hitter Carlos Correa and then gunned down Royce Lewis, who was attempting to tag up, at third for a double play. Siri called off right-fielder Richie Palacios to make what the latter called a “gold glove-type” throw.

“As soon as Correa hit the ball, I knew I was gonna get it,” Siri, who added a crucial homer in the ninth inning, said through a translator. “My job was just to get to the ball and to get there as fast as I could. ... I realized I was pretty far down in right field, and I know Richie’s got a really good arm. ... I know with the adrenaline I wanted to make the throw, make the play and so that’s why I got it.”

Rays manager Kevin Cash said Palacious getting out of the way might have been the most impressive move.

“But Siri, what a run he’s been on lately for us — big home run in the moment and then come back to make that play,” the manager said. "There’s not many guys in the game that can be moving, momentum the way he was going, and put a throw right on a dime to ... third base.”

Closer Pete Fairbanks got Santana to fly out to end the game.

The Rays and Twins (41-34) had spent most of a rainy afternoon deadlocked before Palacios pinch-ran for Isaac Paredes, who had reached on a single. Palacios then stole second before scoring on pinch hitter Amed Rosario's double to left, snapping a 2-all tie in the eighth.

Siri and Yandy Díaz added insurance homer in the ninth inning off Jay Jackson to give Tampa Bay a seemingly safe advantage.

Santana led off the bottom of the ninth with a home run to right, and Minnesota put runners at first and second with no outs.

Miranda hit a three-run homer off Fairbanks (2-3), who earned the win in his first appearance since exiting Tuesday's game with a right-thumb contusion on his throwing hand. Miranda sent a slider into the left-center field bleachers after Byron Buxton doubled down the left-field line and Kyle Farmer walked.

After giving up the tying runs, Fairbanks went into the clubhouse and smashed a small stool in anger, he said.

Then Rays pitching coach Kyle Snyder told Fairbanks he was coming back out for the 10th.

“Let’s just say that I owe the Minnesota Twins visiting (batting) cage a new IKEA stool,” Fairbanks said.

Jax (3-3) took the loss for Minnesota, which finished a 10-game home stand 7-3 and dropped its second straight after winning six in a row.

Tampa Bay handled starter Simeon Woods Richardson’s fastball and slider and had four doubles. But Woods Richardson repeatedly worked out of trouble, finishing with six strikeouts and two earned runs on four hits in six innings.

Rays starter Zack Littell struck out five batters and allowed two earned runs on five hits in five innings.

Lewis’ 373-foot home run to left field made it 2-all in the third. It was the Twins DH's ninth homer in 15 games.


Twins: Starting right fielder Max Kepler left the game with neck spasms after sliding into first on a first-inning bunt attempt. ... Correa and outfielder Willi Castro were held out of the starting lineup, but both pinch hit. Baldelli had hoped to give both players the day off ahead of Minnesota’s nine-game trip to close the month of June.


Rays: RHP Ryan Pepiot (4-4, 4.57 ERA) is scheduled to open Tampa Bay’s three-game road series at Pittsburgh on Friday. The Pirates have yet to name a starter.

Twins: Minnesota starts a nine-game trip with stops in Oakland, Arizona and Seattle. RHP Chris Paddack (5-3, 5.25 ERA) is expected to start Friday against A’s RHP Joey Estes (2-2, 5.97).