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Rays 4 Twins 2: Series Sweep

Minnesota Twins v Tampa Bay Rays Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

The Rays completed a sweep of the AL Central-leading Minnesota Twins this afternoon behind strong pitching, sharp defense, and just enough offense.

In the first three innings, it looked like the Rays would have trouble getting on the board. Ober is a good pitcher who was on his game, not allowing a base runner for the first three innings, and frankly making Rays batters look foolish. Honestly I was wondering whether the Rays would even make solid contact.

Meanwhile, Yonny Chirinos, recently re-called from Durham, was less dominant but still largely kept the Twins from accomplishing much on offense. He scattered a few singles through the first three innings but gave up a solo homerun to Carlos Correa in the fourth to give the Twins their first lead of the series.

Between the third and fourth innings, after a routine “sticky stuff” check, Ober was told by the umpire to wash something off his hands. In unrelated news, in the fourth inning the Rays finally made some good contact! With two outs, Arozarena walked, and then speedster Luke Raley got him all the way home with a triple.

And then hittin’ Harold broke the tie with this:

Chirinos held the lead into the six inning, when he was replaced by Jake Diekman.

The Rays fourth run was an example of how the speed and aggressive base running have paid off for the team this year. Wander Franco stole third base, and Twins reliever Jax threw the ball away in an effort to throw him out. Franco, always alert and always hustling, was able to score on the error, making the score 4-1.

The Twins closed to 4-2 when Colin Poche served up a home run to Michael Taylor, but Jason Adam was able to close out the win with a perfect ninth, aided by a nice running catch by right fielder Josh Lowe for the last out.

The Rays really dominated the Twins this series, all the more impressive when two of the games were pitched, essentially, by “TBD.” If Chirinos can pitch at this level, then the Rays can still boast a competitive rotation despite losing two front line starters to injuries.

A real test comes this weekend, with the high-octane Texas Rangers coming to town. You’ve got until 11:59 to get your discounted tickets to Friday’s game!