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Minnesota at Tampa Bay

Scoreboard
Minnesota (83-70) «30100020511151
Tampa Bay (90-61)500200100891

Casilla fuels Twins' ninth-inning rally; Rays' Longoria hits three HRs

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- On a night Evan Longoria hit three home runs for Tampa Bay, an unlikely source of power upstaged the Rays' rookie slugger.

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Alexi Casilla went deep during Minnesota's five-run ninth inning Thursday night, helping the Twins rally for an 11-8 victory that stopped a four-game losing streak and pulled them within 1½ games of the AL Central-leading Chicago White Sox.

Casilla's two-run drive off Dan Wheeler (5-6) tied it at 8. With two runners on, pinch-hitter Adam Everett squared to bunt, pulled his bat back and ripped an RBI double to break the tie.

Delmon Young followed with a run-scoring single and Matt Tolbert added a sacrifice fly as the AL East-leading Rays lost for just the second time in 79 games when trailing after eight innings.

Their lead in the division over Boston was trimmed to 1½ games.

"It's huge. There's no question," Everett said. "You've seen it from the beginning of September to now. We've had games snatched from us from the ninth inning on. For us to snatch a game away from a team like Tampa Bay and their pitching staff, that's huge for us."

Longoria, who returned to the lineup last Saturday after being sidelined with a broken wrist, hit a two-run homer in Tampa Bay's five-run first against Glen Perkins. The All-Star third baseman added solo shots off Philip Humber in the fourth and Bobby Korecky in the seventh for an 8-6 lead.

Longoria joined Jonny Gomes as the only Rays to hit three home runs in a game in the club's 11-season history. Gomes also did it as a rookie, hitting three against Kansas City on July 30, 2005.

"Obviously I'm pretty happy about my performance, but not the outcome," Longoria said.

"I expect us to bounce back. We've been doing it all along. Win or loss, it's pretty much 15 minutes of celebration or 15 minutes of having your head down and figuring out what you can do tomorrow to help the team."

The Rays can clinch at least a wild-card playoff berth as early as Friday if they beat the Twins, and the White Sox, Blue Jays and Yankees all lose. They can also ensure their first postseason berth by winning two of the remaining three games in this series.

"I still like our position, absolutely," Wheeler said. "It's just a difficult one to swallow. That's all you can say."

The first-inning drive was Longoria's first homer since Aug. 5, two days before he fractured his wrist in Seattle. He has 25 on the year.

Dioner Navarro and Carlos Pena also went deep as Minnesota allowed five home runs in a game for the second time in five days. The Twins have given up a major league-high 33 home runs in September, 18 over the past five games.

"We can't seem to keep the ball in the ballpark, and we didn't do a good job of it tonight," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "But our guys never quit. ... There at the end, Alexi put one in the seats and the rest of the guys did their thing."

Rays starter James Shields allowed six runs, five earned, and eight hits in 6 1/3 innings.

Jason Kubel hit a three-run homer and Joe Mauer went 3-for-4 with three RBI for the Twins. Mauer drove in the last two runs charged to Shields with a seventh-inning single off David Price that trimmed Tampa Bay's lead to 7-6 before Longoria went deep in the bottom half.

Eddie Guardado (4-4) pitched a scoreless eighth for the victory, and Joe Nathan worked the ninth for his 37th save in 43 opportunities.

Notes

  • Rays LF Carl Crawford, out since early August after undergoing surgery on his right middle finger, probably will not play again during the regular season. The club initially hoped he might be able to return for the final three games at Detroit.
  • Rays CF B.J. Upton, who has missed the last nine games with a strained left quad, is improving and could return to lineup by the end of the weekend.
  • Twins INF Brian Buscher jammed his left thumb during Wednesday night's loss at Cleveland and is day to day.
 
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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Evan Longoria does his part -- three homers on the night -- though Tampa Bay falls to Minnesota.  (AP)
Evan Longoria does his part -- three homers on the night -- though Tampa Bay falls to Minnesota. (AP)

Players of the Game
Tampa Bay

E. Longoria
AB 5
R 3
H 3
HR 3
RBI 4
Minnesota

A. Casilla
AB 3
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
 
Minnesota Twins
Denard Span, RF-CF4320111 .298
Alexi Casilla, 2B3222000 .294
Joe Mauer, C4233100 .327
Justin Morneau, 1B4110114 .311
Jason Kubel, DH4113023 .275
   a- Adam Everett, PH-DH1111000 .210
Delmon Young, LF5021011 .289
Matt Tolbert, 3B4001012 .275
Nick Punto, SS5010002 .288
Carlos Gomez, CF3120000 .256
   b- Michael Cuddyer, PH1000001 .251
    Jason Pridie, RF0000000 .000
Totals3811151136  
a-doubled for Kubel in the 9th
b-flied out for Gomez in the 8th
Batting
2B - Joe Mauer (29, Wheeler), Adam Everett (6, Miller), Delmon Young (27, Shields)
HR - Alexi Casilla (7, Wheeler), Jason Kubel (18, Shields)
SF - Matt Tolbert (1)
SH - Alexi Casilla 2 (12)
RBI - Alexi Casilla 2 (47), Joe Mauer 3 (78), Jason Kubel 3 (75), Adam Everett (19), Delmon Young (65), Matt Tolbert (6)
2-OUT RBI - Jason Kubel 3 (33)
SB - Nick Punto (12, 2nd base off Percival/Navarro)
CS - Delmon Young (5, 2nd base by Bradford/Navarro)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Casilla-Punto-Morneau
E - Matt Tolbert (6, Throwing)
Minnesota Twins
Glen Perkins 0.2552102 4.50
Philip Humber 5.1322212 3.72
Bobby Korecky 1111001 5.52
Eddie Guardado (W,4-4) 1000010 4.20
Joe Nathan (S,37) 1000010 1.44
HBP - Gross (by Philip Humber)
Pitches-Strikes - Glen Perkins 36-19, Philip Humber 78-47, Bobby Korecky 17-8, Eddie Guardado 18-11, Joe Nathan 7-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Glen Perkins 2-0, Philip Humber 7-8, Bobby Korecky 1-2, Joe Nathan 2-0
Batters Faced - Glen Perkins 8, Philip Humber 22, Bobby Korecky 4, Eddie Guardado 3, Joe Nathan 3
Tampa Bay Rays
Akinori Iwamura, 2B4100100 .275
Jason Bartlett, SS4020000 .280
   a- Willy Aybar, PH1000010 .262
Carlos Pena, 1B4111102 .246
Evan Longoria, 3B5334001 .281
Rocco Baldelli, DH4100000 .262
Dioner Navarro, C4112000 .290
Ben Zobrist, LF3110100 .227
Gabe Gross, RF3011000 .248
Fernando Perez, CF4000023 .237
Totals3689833  
a-struck out for Bartlett in the 9th
Batting
2B - Ben Zobrist (9, Perkins), Gabe Gross (16, Perkins)
HR - Carlos Pena (30, Humber), Evan Longoria 3 (25, Perkins, Humber, Korecky), Dioner Navarro (7, Perkins)
RBI - Carlos Pena (92), Evan Longoria 4 (78), Dioner Navarro 2 (49), Gabe Gross (39)
2-OUT RBI - Carlos Pena (26), Evan Longoria 3 (28), Dioner Navarro 2 (31), Gabe Gross (16)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
E - Jason Bartlett (15, Throwing)
Tampa Bay Rays
James Shields 6.1865231 3.61
David Price (H,1) 0.2100020 3.00
Troy Percival (H,4) 1100010 4.89
Dan Wheeler (BS,5; L,5-6)0344101 3.25
Trever Miller0111000 4.62
Chad Bradford 1100000 2.08
IBB - Morneau by Dan Wheeler
Pitches-Strikes - James Shields 90-55, David Price 14-9, Troy Percival 26-16, Dan Wheeler 15-7, Trever Miller 4-2, Chad Bradford 12-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - James Shields 7-9
Batters Faced - James Shields 29, David Price 3, Troy Percival 4, Dan Wheeler 4, Trever Miller 1, Chad Bradford 3
Game Information
Attendance - 17296
Game Time - 3:20
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Larry Vanover, First Base - Mike Everitt, Second Base - Mike DiMuro, Third Base - Gerry Davis