Tampa Bay at Minnesota

Scoreboard
Tampa Bay (47-53) «2110010005112
Minnesota (44-53)010002000361

Rays 5, Twins 3

CBSSports.com wire reports
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MINNEAPOLIS -- It wasn't always pretty, but considering the position they've put themselves in this year, the Tampa Bay Rays can't be too picky.

James Loney had two hits and two RBI and Chris Archer won consecutive decisions for the first time this season as the Rays won their fifth straight with a 5-3 victory against the Minnesota Twins on Sunday.

At one point this season it appeared the Rays might have dug too deep a hole to recover. On June 10 they were 24-42, but since that low-water mark they've gone 23-11 and pulled to within eight games of first place in the AL East.

''We're just trying to concentrate on the moment and not thinking that far ahead,'' Loney said. ''And we're not thinking about what we did yesterday.''

The Rays, who went on an 11-4 tear going into the All-Star break, matched their longest winning streak of the season against the punchless Twins, who scored six runs in the three-game series.

But they didn't make it easy on themselves Sunday. They committed two errors, both leading to Minnesota runs. They also gave the Twins a run on a wild pitch. And on offense, they stranded 12 runners, including nine in scoring position.

''We had so many opportunities to score many more runs and when you keep not doing that you get kind of concerned,'' manager Joe Maddon said. ''When you leave that many guys in scoring position you know it's going to bite you at some point.''

Archer (6-5) pitched 6 1/3 innings, giving up one earned run on six hits while walking two and striking out four. Four relievers combined to get the last eight outs, with rookie Kirby Yates closing out the game for his first career save.

Yates had to bail out Grant Balfour, who walked two batters with one out in the ninth. The first batter he faced was Brian Dozier, who took part in the home run derby at Target Field last Monday. But with the winning run at the plate, Yates got Dozier on a grounder to third and retired Eduardo Nunez on a pop out.

''Kirby came in, did a nice job against Dozier who can definitely put the ball in the seats, and same thing with Nunez. I thought he was outstanding,'' said Maddon, who noted that veteran set-up man Joel Peralta was unavailable due to an illness. But he added that getting his young relievers some experience in high-leverage spots is part of his master plan.

''We have to grow our bullpen to permit people to not have to pitch so often,'' Maddon said. ''We've got to get participation from 25 players, including some who are still in Triple-A, if we're going to pull this off.''

Kevin Correia (5-12) took over the major league lead in losses, allowing four runs on seven hits and three walks in four innings for Minnesota. The veteran right-hander gave up two runs in the first and single runs in each of the next two innings.

In his previous seven starts, Correia was 3-4 but had a sparkling 2.30 ERA in 43 innings pitched.

Instead, Correia got off to a shaky start on Sunday and never recovered. Desmond Jennings led off the game with a double, and Correia walked the next two batters to load the bases. Loney delivered two runs with a sharp single to give the Rays a lead.

''You all saw it, 90 pitches in four innings and it was a hard 90, not an easy 90,'' Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said of Correia's outing. ''He labored through it and kept the damage to a minimum. But he labored through it.''

Notes

Evan Longoria's second double of the game gave him 216 in his career, passing Carl Crawford for the most in franchise history. He also tied Crawford for the franchise lead with 592 career RBI.. Twins 1B Joe Mauer swung a bat on Sunday for the first time since he went on the 15-day DL on July 2 with a strained right oblique. Twins GM Terry Ryan said that Mauer didn't face pitching or hit off a tee, but the ''dry swings'' were a sign that ''things are going in the right direction.'' ... Ryan also said he would wait until Monday to announce the Twins' starting pitcher for Tuesday's game against Cleveland. RHP Samuel Deduno, who has made eight starts this season for the Twins, pitched three innings of relief on Sunday and is not a candidate to start on Tuesday.

 
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Players of the Game
Tampa Bay

J. Loney
AB 4
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 2
Tampa Bay

C. Archer
IP 6.1
H 6
ER 1
BB 2
K 4
 

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Tampa Bay Rays
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVGSLGOBP
Desmond Jennings, CF5120015.246.390.337
Ben Zobrist, 2B-LF3101100.264.404.353
Matt Joyce, LF3110111.271.425.353
   a-Logan Forsythe, PH-2B1000010.249.347.299
Evan Longoria, 3B5121023.262.394.335
James Loney, 1B4022111.285.379.342
Brandon Guyer, DH4010123.274.363.323
Yunel Escobar, SS4021003.253.337.328
Curt Casali, C5000046.111.111.111
Kevin Kiermaier, RF2110212.315.570.360
Chris Archer, P0000000.000.000.000
   Brad Boxberger, P0000000.000.000.000
   Jake McGee, P0000000.000.000.000
   Grant Balfour, P0000000.000.000.000
   Kirby Yates, P0000000.000.000.000
Totals365115613    
a-struck out for Joyce in the 8th
Batting
2B - Desmond Jennings (24, Correia), Matt Joyce (18, Deduno), Evan Longoria 2 (16, Correia), Yunel Escobar (12, Correia)
SF - Ben Zobrist (4)
SH - Yunel Escobar (2)
RBI - Ben Zobrist (27), Evan Longoria (48), James Loney 2 (46), Yunel Escobar (23)
2-OUT RBI - Evan Longoria (21)
SB - James Loney (3, 3rd base off Deduno/Fryer), Kevin Kiermaier (3, 2nd base off Deduno/Fryer)
Team LOB - 12
Fielding
DP - Loney-Escobar
E - Chris Archer (2, Throwing), Kevin Kiermaier (3, Misplayed grounder)
Tampa Bay Rays
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Chris Archer (W,6-5) 6.1631240 3.31
Brad Boxberger (H,8) 0.2000020 2.33
Jake McGee (H,12) 1000110 1.43
Grant Balfour (H,7) 0.1000200 5.40
Kirby Yates (S,1) 0.2000000 2.35
WP - Chris Archer (5)
Pitches-Strikes - Chris Archer 99-62, Brad Boxberger 8-6, Jake McGee 29-20, Grant Balfour 15-5, Kirby Yates 5-4
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chris Archer 8-7, Kirby Yates 1-1
Batters Faced - Chris Archer 27, Brad Boxberger 2, Jake McGee 4, Grant Balfour 3, Kirby Yates 2
Minnesota Twins
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVGSLGOBP
Brian Dozier, 2B5000015.237.425.336
Eduardo Nunez, 3B5000016.266.385.292
Trevor Plouffe, DH3110100.246.417.318
Kendrys Morales, 1B4120001.239.338.267
Oswaldo Arcia, RF3100023.213.356.301
   a-Chris Colabello, PH-RF1000001.239.415.287
Josh Willingham, LF4012012.209.399.357
Eduardo Escobar, SS4010001.275.404.318
Eric Fryer, C1000210.174.174.240
   b-Kurt Suzuki, PH0000100.305.389.364
Sam Fuld, CF2010111.269.386.355
Kevin Correia, P0000000.200.400.200
   Samuel Deduno, P0000000.000.000.000
   Brian Duensing, P0000000.000.000.000
   Glen Perkins, P0000000.000.000.000
Totals3236257    
a-flied out for Arcia in the 8th
b-walked for Fryer in the 9th
Batting
2B - Kendrys Morales (11, Archer)
SH - Sam Fuld (2)
RBI - Josh Willingham 2 (27)
SB - Sam Fuld (12, 2nd base off Boxberger/Casali)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
E - Oswaldo Arcia (3, Misplayed grounder)
Minnesota Twins
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Kevin Correia (L,5-12) 4744340 4.76
Samuel Deduno 3311350 4.32
Brian Duensing 1000020 2.45
Glen Perkins 1100020 2.90
IBB - Kiermaier by Kevin Correia
WP - Samuel Deduno 2 (6)
Pitches-Strikes - Kevin Correia 91-54, Samuel Deduno 59-36, Brian Duensing 13-9, Glen Perkins 14-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kevin Correia 2-6, Samuel Deduno 2-2, Brian Duensing 1-0
Batters Faced - Kevin Correia 22, Samuel Deduno 15, Brian Duensing 3, Glen Perkins 4
Game Information
Attendance - 26821
Game Time - 3:40
Temperature - 84
Umpires - Home - Gabe Morales, First Base - Mike Estabrook, Second Base - Hunter Wendelstedt, Third Base - Mike DiMuro