Minnesota at Tampa Bay

Tampa Bay
W: W. Davis (1-2) L: N. Blackburn (1-2)
S: K. Farnsworth (3)
HR: MIN - None   TB - K. Shoppach (1)

Rays 5, Twins 2

CBSSports.com wire reports

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The Minnesota Twins struggled again on the field. At least they got some encouraging news about injured catcher Joe Mauer.

Wade Davis pitched seven strong innings and Johnny Damon and Kelly Shoppach drove in two runs apiece, leading the Tampa Bay Rays to a 5-2 victory over the Twins on Friday night.

"Losing ... I'll never get used to that," Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said after the Twins dropped to 4-9. "Plain and simple, I don't care what time of the year it is."

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Mauer was placed on the 15-day disabled list Thursday because of leg weakness stemming from offseason arthroscopic surgery on his left knee. Tests on Mauer, who was taken to a hospital Thursday night with flu-like symptoms, found he has a viral infection, which the team believes increased the catcher's body soreness recently.

"It tells us that there's probably a reason why he's been so sore, and that's his system is fighting a viral infection," Gardenhire said. "It kind of helps us in probably knowing a little bit better where we stand and what's really going on."

Gardenhire hopes Mauer will be able to return in a couple weeks.

"I think it eases everybody's mind knowing he's got a viral infection, flu-bug thing, and we all know how you feel when you get that stuff," Gardenhire said. "Probably got him feeling worse than he probably really is."

Davis (1-2) limited the defending AL Central champions to three singles and Danny Valencia's fifth-inning RBI double to help the Rays to their fourth straight win and fifth in seven games following an 0-6 start. Minnesota has dropped three in a row and five of its last six.

"As I told the boys in there, this game doesn't give you anything," Gardenhire said. "You have to take it. We need to start taking a little more than we're givin'."

A night after beating the Twins with a 10th inning homer, the 37-year-old Damon delivered a two-run single off Nick Blackburn (1-2) to erase a 1-0 deficit in the sixth. Shoppach finished off the Minnesota starter with a two-run, seventh-inning homer for his first RBIs of the season.

"I just started leaving some pitches up," Blackburn said. "I didn't quite execute as well as I did the first five innings."

Sam Fuld and Matt Joyce each had three hits for Tampa Bay, which has scored 37 runs in its five victories compared to 12 in its eight losses. Damon has hit safely in seven consecutive games after going 1-for-15 while the Rays were losing five straight home games to begin the season.

Damon's two-run single put the Rays ahead and Upton's RBI double later in the sixth hiked the lead to 3-1 against Blackburn, who narrowly escaped being hit by a line drive hit by Joyce during the inning. The ball deflected off the pitcher's glove and rolled to shortstop for an infield single.

Shoppach put it out of reach with a first-pitch, two-run homer off Blackburn, who allowed five runs and 10 hits in six-plus innings.


Minnesota DH Jim Thome entered the game 2-for-2 with two homers lifetime against Davis. The slugger hit a fly ball to the warning track in center field in his first at-bat and finished 0 for 2 with a walk against the Rays' starter. He scored the Twins' first run when he drew the walk before Valencia's RBI double. ... Shoppach has three homers in 15 career at bats against Blackburn. ... Blackburn is 2-3 with a 6.66 ERA in five starts against Tampa Bay.

Copyright 2017 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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Players of the Game
Tampa Bay

J. Damon
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 0
Tampa Bay

K. Shoppach
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 1

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Minnesota Twins
Denard Span, CF4010001 .315
Matt Tolbert, SS4000000 .267
Jason Kubel, RF3100100 .298
Justin Morneau, 1B3000101 .224
Delmon Young, LF3010101 .213
Jim Thome, DH3100101 .200
    Jason Repko, PR-DH0000000 .000
Michael Cuddyer, 2B4010012 .222
Danny Valencia, 3B3011002 .244
Drew Butera, C2000011 .133
   a- Luke Hughes, PH1000010 .231
    Steve Holm, C0000000 .000
a-struck out for Butera in the 8th
2B - Danny Valencia (1, Davis)
RBI - Danny Valencia (5)
PK - Denard Span (1, Davis)
Team LOB - 5
DP - Tolbert-Cuddyer-Morneau, Morneau-Holm
Minnesota Twins
Nick Blackburn (L,1-2) 61055061 3.06
Dusty Hughes 1100000 7.94
Jeff Manship 0.1200100 8.10
Glen Perkins 0.2000000 0.00
IBB - S. Rodriguez by Jeff Manship
Pitches-Strikes - Nick Blackburn 87-59, Dusty Hughes 10-8, Jeff Manship 11-5, Glen Perkins 6-3
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Nick Blackburn 6-4, Dusty Hughes 1-1, Glen Perkins 1-0
Batters Faced - Nick Blackburn 26, Dusty Hughes 3, Jeff Manship 4, Glen Perkins 1
Tampa Bay Rays
Sam Fuld, LF4130000 .366
Johnny Damon, DH4112001 .220
Matt Joyce, RF4030010 .270
Felipe Lopez, 3B4020013 .308
    Ben Zobrist, PR-2B0000000 .178
B.J. Upton, CF4011013 .261
Sean Rodriguez, 2B-3B3000112 .167
Dan Johnson, 1B3110000 .149
    Casey Kotchman, 1B1000001 .143
Kelly Shoppach, C3112010 .227
Reid Brignac, SS3110010 .207
2B - Sam Fuld (5, Blackburn), Matt Joyce (4, Manship), B.J. Upton (3, Blackburn)
HR - Kelly Shoppach (1, Blackburn)
RBI - Johnny Damon 2 (11), B.J. Upton (5), Kelly Shoppach 2 (2)
2-OUT RBI - B.J. Upton (3)
SB - Ben Zobrist (2, 2nd base off Manship/Holm)
CS - Sam Fuld 2 (2, 2nd base by Blackburn/Butera, 3rd base by Hughes/Butera)
Team LOB - 5
E - Reid Brignac (3, Throwing)
Tampa Bay Rays
Wade Davis (W,1-2) 7411210 3.26
Joel Peralta 1000010 2.84
Cesar Ramos 0.1010100 2.08
Juan Cruz0000100 6.23
Jake McGee (H,1) 0.1000000 5.40
Kyle Farnsworth (S,3) 0.1000010 1.69
Pitches-Strikes - Wade Davis 100-59, Joel Peralta 12-9, Cesar Ramos 14-7, Juan Cruz 4-0, Jake McGee 2-2, Kyle Farnsworth 5-3
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Wade Davis 7-12, Joel Peralta 1-1, Jake McGee 1-0
Batters Faced - Wade Davis 26, Joel Peralta 3, Cesar Ramos 2, Juan Cruz 1, Jake McGee 1, Kyle Farnsworth 1
Game Information
Attendance - 15342
Game Time - 2:34
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Mark Carlson, First Base - Tim Timmons, Second Base - Jeff Kellogg, Third Base - Eric Cooper