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Rays 7, Twins 3: Hustle and Homers

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Bobby Wilson is a beast

Minnesota Twins v Tampa Bay Rays Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images

Hey, that was fun. Let’s do that again!

The Rays jumped on top in the first, after Logan Forsythe led off with a single, stole second, then came around to score on a two-out Brad Miller single. They added on in the third and the fifth on solo jacks from Evan Longoria...

and Bobby Wilson.

Wait, what? Really?

Well, I’ll be danged.

It was a 3-1 fastball, and Bobby hit it right on the button. The ball stayed straight and true down the left field line inside the foul pole.

Archer struggled with fastball command at the start, working some deep counts, though he didn’t give up any early runs. Partly this was thanks to Kevin Kiermaier, who made a great throw on a single by Jorge Polanco as Eddie Rosario tried to go first to third. It was a play that only KK can make, breaking hard to his left to field the ball, then turning his hips to make a rocket of a throw across his body that was right on target.

Archer settled down from there, getting his pitch count under control and cruising into the sixth, where he ran into his next bit of trouble. A Kurt Suzuki walk was followed by a Brian Dozier double to put runners on second and third with one out. Archer was able to wiggle out of it after giving up just one run, however, as he yielded a run-scoring groundout to Joe Mauer before striking out Miguel Sano.

The Rays got that run back and more in the bottom of the frame, stealing a couple from the Twins. With Brad Miller on first after reaching on a fielders choice and with Nick Franklin batting, Miller swiped both second and third handily off Buddy Boshers. Then with the infield in, Miller got a great secondary lead before breaking for home on Franklin’s soft grounder to Eduardo Escobar. The throw came home, but Miller slid in safely. 4-1, good guys.

The boys kept the pedal to the medal. After the Rays loaded the bases, a Trevor May breaking ball skipped a short distance away from Suzuki. Franklin broke for home aggressively and scored, using a nifty sleight of hand to avoid May’s tag.

5-1 Rays.

The bullpen took over in the seventh, closing the book on Archer. Chris threw 99 pitches on the night and was charged with just the one run on three hits in his six innings of work, with seven strikeouts and three walks.

Xavier Cedeno came on and notched two strikeouts while giving up a hit in his inning of work, while Kevin Jepsen surrendered a walk during his turn in the eighth. Jepsen also served up a fly ball that allowed Kevin Kiermaier to do this:

Daaaaaang...

Meanwhile, in the bottom of the seventh, Frosty tagged a 3-2 fastball to the opposite field. The fly ball just kept carrying. 6-1 Rays.

In the bottom of the eighth, the Rays got a chance to tack on again after the Twins botched an inning ending double play grounder. Bobby Wilson made them play (as Bobby Wilson is wont to do), singling to left and scoring Steven Souza. 7-1 Rays.

Dylan Floro came on to work the ninth, where things went a little sideways. Because these are the 2016 Rays, and nothing is easy. After a Sano single, the Rays botched a double play of their own, putting runners on second and third. One out later, Jorge Polanco singled, scoring two. Next was a Suzuki single past Beckham at first, and that was it for Floro. On came Alex Colome into a game in which he had no business pitching.

Thankfully, Colome snuffed out the threat, striking out Danny Santana on a slider after a five pitch at bat, then getting Brian Dozier to fly to left after a six pitch at bat. 7 > 3; winning > losing.

  • Steven Souza got picked off in the second on a play that looked like it was going to be a much bigger deal than it turned out being.
  • The Rays secured their first winning homestand of the season.
  • It’s August.
  • In tomorrow’s wrap up game of the series, Matt Andriese takes on Kyle Gibson at 1:10 pm.
  • Go Rays!