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Rays 5, Twins 3: Rays Sweep Twins, Win Fifth Straight

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The Rays finished off the sweep of the Twins behind Chris Archer.

Marilyn Indahl

The Rays finished off the post-All Star game sweep of the Twins behind strong pitching from Chris Archer and another good performance from the offense.

Archer pitched into the seventh inning allowing three ones, one of them earned, and striking out four. The run he allowed in the second inning, though not technically an earned run, was entirely his fault as he fielded a ground ball and threw it by James Loney at first, allowing the runner to advance to second and score on a base hit.

He wouldn't face much trouble again until the sixth inning. Two singles and an error by Kevin Kiemaier put men on second and third with one out. A wild pitch and a ground out later and the Twins had narrowed the gap to 5-3.

The lead would stay at two runs as Brad Boxberger, Jake McGee, Grant Balfour, and Kirby Yates combined for the final eight outs. It was Balfour who was tasked with closing the game, and yet again he failed to do so, retiring the first batter he faced but then walking the next two. With the winning run at the plate and Joel Peralta unavailable, Joe Maddon had no choice but to remove Balfour. Yates admitted after the game that he was much calmer this time around in a save situation and he quickly retired the final two batters.

For a third straight game the offense recorded at least ten hits and five runs. Every starter reached base at least once aside from Curt Casali, who struck out four times. James Loney got them on the board with a two run single in the first inning. Ben Zobrist added a sac fly in the second, Yunel Escobar doubled in a run in the third, and Evan Longoria also doubled in a run in the sixth, breaking Carl Crawford's club records for two-baggers and RBI with one swing.

The win, their fifth straight, improves the Rays record to 47-53, putting them 6.5 games out of a wild card spot, making it more unlikely they decide to move David Price before the deadline.