The Rays wasted no time getting to Twins starter Francisco Liriano who, tonight, looked more like 2009 Liriano than 2010 Liriano. Tiny-Spartan-Warrior Sam Fuld got the game started with a double off Target Field's absurd right-field overhang. Johnny Damon would plate Fuld with an RBI single then a B.J. Upton double, Ben Zobrist triple, and a Sean Rodriguez single would give the Rays a four run first and a lead they would not relinquish.
Wade Davis followed the offense's hot start with a solid performance, going 6.2 innings allowing 2R, 7H, 3BB with 5K's. Davis' walks came in the two innings he struggled: one in the first and two in the seventh. Despite the free passes, Davis was able to work out of the jams with little damage. He escaped the first inning unharmed after inducing Justin Morneau into an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play and only allowed one run on a Alexi Casilla sac fly before getting pulled in the seventh despite having the bases loaded with only one out. It wasn't the Lumberjack's best start of the year, but he certainly gave a yeoman's effort on a chilly evening in the Twin Cities.
More after the jump:
Speaking of Twins, it seemed like Ron Gardenhire was managing the evil, goatee-stroking Twin squad tonight. Maybe 'evil' is the wrong word. 'Bad' would be more appropriate. Twins pitchers walked nine Rays hitters which included three free passes to Sam Fuld out of respect for his super-human presence. If that weren't enough, the Twins added some sloppy defense on top of a rather pedestrian day at the plate. Hopefully the Rays can stay hot and keep the Twins in hibernation for tomorrow's double-header.
- So this is what it feels like to be above .500.
- Johnny Damon's 1st inning single was technically the game winning RBI, giving him six on the year. He also has eight go-ahead RBIs. Sam Fuld has certainly contributed to that a bit, but it's always nice to get that production from the top of the order especially without Evan Longoria.
- Speaking of Evan Longoria, word on the street is that he's coming back on Tuesday. Huzzah.
- The snow was certainly a change of pace. Kinda felt like Christmas. "If this is their idea of Christmas, I *gotta* be here for New Year's."
- In other breaking news: Sean Rodriguez keeps his hands in his pockets between pitches to keep warm. What a professional.
- Tomorrow is a day for baseball as the Rays play a day/night double-header starting at 1:10 PM. Niemann v. Blackburn for game 1 and Hellickson v. TBD game 2. (Helly and Niemann might be swapped.)
- You think there's some Star Trek alternate dimension ish going on for the Rays in game 2? Hellickson facing the former Tampa Bay Devil Rays [TBD] looks like a good matchup on paper, I'm kind of scared to see Crawford in a evil-goatee.
- If you didn't know: we get paid every time we write 'Sam Fuld.' Sponsored by Carl's Jr.