Minnesota at Tampa Bay

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Minnesota000100100260
Tampa Bay «00000031x470

Norton, Wigginton go back-to-back as Rays thwart Twins

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Minnesota starter Carlos Silva left after six scoreless innings with an upset stomach, and he wasn't the only one feeling lousy after a rare failure by the Twins' bullpen.

Greg Norton and Ty Wigginton hit consecutive homers in the seventh inning, helping the Tampa Bay Devil Rays win 4-2 over the Twins on Wednesday night for their first victory over Minnesota in more than two years.

Minnesota's lead over the Chicago White Sox in the AL wild-card chase was cut to a half-game.

Silva allowed one hit, one walk and had two strikeouts before departing.

"It caught everybody off guard," Minnesota pitching coach Rick Anderson said. "He was pretty much cruising. In the sixth inning, he was outstanding. Yeah, it caught everybody off guard. It's disappointing. He was throwing the ball outstanding. You know, this time of year everybody is hurt and beat up. What do you do?"

Tampa Bay, which had scored once in the first 24 innings of the three-game series, took a 3-2 lead when Norton hit a two-run homer and Wigginton had a solo shot off reliever Pat Neshek (3-1), who gave up three runs and three hits in one-third of an inning.

"Greg did the hard part," Wigginton said. "He tied it up, and that was a big knock. I think it changed the momentum."

"I was lucky," Norton said. "I'm being serious. My swing has been horrible. I couldn't hit a fastball away to save my life. He just missed with a pitch middle in."

Delmon Young added an RBI single in the eighth to make it 4-2 as the Devil Rays snapped a 14-game losing streak against Minnesota that extended to June 3, 2004.

"I think the big thing here is we had a pitcher going along there pretty good, probably throwing as good as you can, and then all of a sudden a bad stomach takes him out of the ballgame and that kind of put us in a little bit of a hot spot," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We just have to move on. A little frustrating, but what can you do? If you can't go, you can't go."

Silva needed only 59 pitches to get through six innings.

"All of a sudden he was done," Gardenhire said. "When he came out after six, he said that's it. He feels like he's going to throw up, which made me feel like I was going to throw up."

Silva said he "hadn't been feeling good the whole game."

"I didn't want to say, 'No, I can't do it,"' Silva said, "but I said to myself I'm starting to feel a little bit weary. We have the best bullpen in the league."

It was just the eighth loss for the Twins' bullpen this season, and the second time a Minnesota reliever has been charged with a loss since the All-Star break.

"We had to kind of rush and get a bullpen going," Gardenhire said. "We got the kid going and it didn't work out. Neshek has been throwing the ball great. They just whacked a couple pitches on him and before you know it, we're losing."

Joe Mauer and Rondell White homered for the Twins, who trail AL Central-leading Detroit by four games. The Twins and Tigers, who lost 5-4 in 10 innings to Seattle, begin a four-game series Thursday night at Minnesota.

Mauer put the Twins ahead 1-0 on a solo homer off Jason Hammel in the fourth. White made it 2-0 on his seventh-inning homer against reliever Shawn Camp (7-2).

Seth McClung pitched the ninth for his fifth save.

Mauer finished 1-for-3 with a walk and is hitting .345. He went 3-for-26 with one extra base hit -- a double -- over his previous eight games.

Hammel allowed one run and three hits over six innings in his fifth career start.

"He set the tone for us until we got them late," Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said.

Notes:

  • Tampa Bay LHP Casey Fossum will have shoulder surgery Friday. He could be ready for spring training next year.
  • Twins LHP Francisco Liriano (strained left elbow) threw 50 pitches during a three-inning simulated game. He could rejoin the rotation around Sept. 14.
  • Young has a hit in seven of nine games since being called up from Triple-A Durham on Aug. 30.
  • Wigginton has 20 homers this season, and 14 have either tied the game or put Tampa Bay ahead.
  • Camp tied the team record for wins by a reliever in one season. Only injured starter Scott Kazmir (left shoulder) has more wins (10) for the Devil Rays this year.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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When it comes to this little Wiggy, 14 of his 20 homers have tied games or given Tampa Bay a lead.  (AP)
When it comes to this little Wiggy, 14 of his 20 homers have tied games or given Tampa Bay a lead. (AP)

Players of the Game
Minnesota

C. Silva
IP 6.0
H 1
ER 0
BB 1
K 2
Tampa Bay

G. Norton
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
 

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Minnesota Twins
Luis Castillo, 2B3010100 .296
Nick Punto, 3B4000013 .292
Joe Mauer, DH3111100 .345
Michael Cuddyer, RF4000011 .273
Justin Morneau, 1B3010120 .319
Torii Hunter, CF4000012 .267
Rondell White, LF4111000 .221
Mike Redmond, C4010000 .333
    Lew Ford, PR0000000 .221
Jason Bartlett, SS4010001 .340
Totals33262357 
Batting
2B - Luis Castillo (20, Camp), Justin Morneau (30, Hammel)
HR - Joe Mauer (11, Hammel), Rondell White (6, Camp)
RBI - Joe Mauer (76), Rondell White (31)
SB - Jason Bartlett (6, 2nd base off Hammel/Paul)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Bartlett-Castillo-Morneau, Silva-Bartlett-Morneau
Minnesota Twins
Carlos Silva 6100120 6.30
Pat Neshek (BS,2; L,3-1) 0.1333002 2.33
Dennys Reyes 0.1000000 0.84
Jesse Crain 0.1000000 3.97
Juan Rincon 1311000 2.95
Pitches-Strikes - Carlos Silva 59-39, Pat Neshek 15-9, Dennys Reyes 7-4, Jesse Crain 2-1, Juan Rincon 22-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Carlos Silva 10-4, Pat Neshek 1-0, Dennys Reyes 1-0, Jesse Crain 1-0, Juan Rincon 1-2
Batters Faced - Carlos Silva 18, Pat Neshek 4, Dennys Reyes 1, Jesse Crain 1, Juan Rincon 6
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Rocco Baldelli, CF4010002 .299
Delmon Young, RF4121001 .400
Greg Norton, 1B3112001 .302
    Damon Hollins, LF0000000 .222
   a- Carl Crawford, PH-LF1000002 .302
Ty Wigginton, LF-1B2111110 .265
Kevin Witt, DH3000001 .161
Jorge Cantu, 2B3000010 .239
B.J. Upton, 3B3000000 .233
Josh Paul, C3110000 .265
Tomas Perez, SS3010000 .210
Totals29474127 
a-grounded out for Hollins in the 8th
Batting
HR - Greg Norton (13, Neshek), Ty Wigginton (20, Neshek)
RBI - Delmon Young (6), Greg Norton 2 (32), Ty Wigginton (61)
2-OUT RBI - Delmon Young (2)
Team LOB - 2
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Jason Hammel 6311341 5.61
Shawn Camp (W,7-2) 1211001 4.14
Dan Miceli (H,5) 1000010 4.13
Seth McClung (S,5) 1100000 6.23
Pitches-Strikes - Jason Hammel 99-63, Shawn Camp 11-10, Dan Miceli 14-10, Seth McClung 10-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jason Hammel 11-3, Shawn Camp 1-2, Dan Miceli 2-0
Batters Faced - Jason Hammel 24, Shawn Camp 5, Dan Miceli 3, Seth McClung 4
Game Information
Attendance - 8942
Game Time - 2:15
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Laz Diaz, First Base - Rick Reed, Second Base - Tim Tschida, Third Base - Gary Cederstrom