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Twins 5, Rays 3: Walks will haunt

Lead-off walk bites Rays as Dozier blasts Twins to victory

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Minnesota Twins Marilyn Indahl-USA TODAY Sports

MINNEAPOLIS — In a cloudy Saturday afternoon matinee, Brian Dozier blasted the Twins to their fifth win in their last six games - snapping the Rays three-game winning streak.

Missed Opportunities

The Rays were able to load the bases with one out in the top of the second. Derrick Norris then stepped to the plate, lining the first pitch for a base hit to left that scored Morrison from third.

One batter later, Steven Souza Jr. attempted to score on a wild pitch by Mejia, but former Rays catcher Chris Giminez chased the ball down and threw to Mejia covering home for an out at the plate.

On Souza’s aggressiveness: I like it. Getting an out at home plate is tough since you have to make contact with the ground.

Bourjous would ground out to short to end the Rays threat.

In the bottom half of the inning, Odorizzi loaded the bases with no outs on two singles and a walk.

It was now the Twins turn to squander the opportunity, and they did just that. After getting Rosario to fly out to shallow left, Adrianza lifted a sac fly to center that tied the game at one apiece. But that was all the damage to be had, as Odo was able to strand a pair of runners on first and second to end the inning.

Squeaking in another

With one out in the fourth, Kiermaier broke his bat on a single up the middle. Weeks followed with a base hit to to right, allowing Kiermaier to move up to third.

Coming up to the plate with already one RBI in his back pocket was Derek Norris, who came through again on a sac fly to center field scoring Kiermaier to retake a 2-1 lead.

Rosario goes so-fario (WOW that’s an awful pun)

Odorizzi was pitching dangerously over the plate through the first four innings. Eddie Rosario finally made him pay in the bottom of the fourth, blasting a gift right down the middle for his fourth home run of the season.

All tied up. 2-2.

Enter the Bullpens

With a runner on second and two outs, the Rays intentionally walked Brian Dozier, ending Odorizzi’s day at a season-high 118 pitches.

“Just a lot of foul balls today - way more than normal. But I’ve been there before. I was around the zone, just not good enough to get a miss or a ball in play. It was kind of that gray area where it’s good stuff but it just drives your pitch count up,” Odorizzi said. “It was a lot of work. Credit to them, they put up a lot of tough at-bats together and fouled a lot of good pitches off.”

His final line: 5.2 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 4BB (1 IBB), 4 K, 1 HR, 118 pitches (74 strikes) no decision.

“They threw out a tough lineup with all lefties with the exception of one or two guys,” said Cash. “That’s going to make it a little more difficult to go out there and give up only two runs, that gave an opportunity to win the ballgame.

Replacing Odorizzi was 22-year old flamethrower, Jose Alvarado. The left-hander did his job, getting Mauer to fly out to left and stranding two runners ending the Twins threat in the sixth.

Alvarado would get one more out and then be replaced by Danny Farquhar. Subsequently, Twins manager Paul Molitor sent up Miguel Sano to pinch-hit for Kennys Vargas. The slugger would strike out swinging, marking eight straight at-bats with a strikeout for the third baseman.

The Final Stretch

After two strong innings of work by RHP Tyler Duffey, LHP Taylor Rogers entered the eighth for the Twins and retired LoMo, Souza, and KK in order - all on weak contact.

Farquhar returned to the hill in the bottom half of the eighth. After allowing a crucial leadoff walk to Giminez, Rosario sac-bunted him to second, and Adrianza moved him to third on a grounder to first.

Kevin Cash would opt for Tommy Hunter - making his second relief appearance since April 22 - to replace Farquhar on the hill against the Twins second baseman.

Dozier stepped up, and cranked a two-run opposite field shot that clanked off the second deck overhang giving Minnesota its first lead of the series.

"Walks are going to haunt you when you walk anybody when the game's tied, and that's ultimately what happened," manager Kevin Cash said. "That Dozier at-bat probably shouldn't have even happened."

Dozier’s teammates paraded him with gum following the blast.

"Walks are going to haunt you when you walk anybody when the game's tied, and that's ultimately what happened," manager Kevin Cash said. "That Dozier at-bat probably shouldn't have even happened."

Hunter said his biggest mistake was falling behind in the count. “I fell behind, which is a big thing. You have to get strike one in that situation. But I fell behind and he put the barrel on the ball,” Hunter said after the game. “It’s just a situation that you don’t want to have happen at all. But it happened and he hit me.”

With two outs in the ninth, Colby Rasmus crushed a full-count fastball off Minnesota closer Brandon Kintzler with two outs. That would be all, however, as Kintzler got Tim Beckham to strike out swinging to end the game and even the series at one apiece.

Cash on tomorrow’s series finale, “Just get a good night sleep, go have a nice dinner, and do whatever. We have Alex (Cobb) on the mound for us tomorrow and he’s been throwing really well. We feel good about tomorrow.”


-Lefty Adalberto Mejia lasted five innings, allowing two earned runs on six hits while punching out six

-Evan Longoria’s road woes continue at the plate. Now 14-for-85 (.165) in games played away from the Trop.

-With Rasmus’ 9th inning HR, the Rays HR streak against the Twins was extended to six straight games

-Today’s game marked Jake Odorizzi’s major-league leading 21st no-decision since start the start of last season.

-Todays attendance was 27,531