Rays Move To Within Six Games Of .500 & Wild Card
The Tampa Bay Rays reached the century mark in games played and defeated the Minnesota Twins by a final score of 5-3 to improve their record to 47-53.
The Rays have now won five straight games and 14 of their last 18. They are 11-4 in July and have won 14 of their last 17 road games including six straight away from Tropicana Field.
Chris Archer (6-5, 3.31) picked up the win working 6.1 innings allowing three runs (one earned) on six hits striking out four and walking two. Brad Boxberger, Jake McGee, Grant Balfour, and Kirby Yates held the Twins scoreless over the final 2.2 innings of work with Kirby Yates coming in with one out in the ninth and two men on base to record his first career save.
With the win Archer improves his career record against the Twins to 3-0 with a 0.49 ERA (18.1 IP, 1 ER). He has now posted a 1.87 ERA (43.1 IP, 9 ER) in his last seven road starts.
The Rays offense loaded the bases in the top of the first inning of Twins starter Kevin Correia (5-12, 4.76 ERA) and after Evan Longoria flew out to shallow left field James Loney delivered a 2-RBI single to put the Rays up 2-0.
The Rays got their last run in the sixth inning on a RBI double by Evan Longoria to score Matt Joyce who had also doubled. The RBI tied Evan Longoria with Carl Crawford for the franchise record with 592 his double was his second of the game and he is now the franchise leader passing Crawford with 216.
The story against Chris Archer was defensive miscues leading to opportunities for the Twins. In the third inning he fielded a Oswaldo Arcia grounder and threw wildly to first allowing Arcia to advance to second. Josh Willingham followed with an RBI single.
The Twins added a pair of runs off him in the sixth inning after Kevin Kiermaier overran a single by Kendrys Morales allowing Trevor Plouffe to advance to third and Morales to second. Archer then uncorked a wild pitch to allow Plouffe to score and Morales to move to 3rd where he would come in to score on a Josh Willingham ground out.
The struggles of Grant Balfour continue as he was given an opportunity to close the game out. After retiring the first batter he walked the next two and Kirby Yates entered the game. He retired the final two batters to pick up his first career save.
The Rays will enjoy an off-day Monday before heading to St. Louis to take on the Cardinals. Jake Odorizzi (5-8, 4.01 ERA) will open the series pitching in his hometown Tuesday evening against Adam Wainwright (12-4, 1.83 ERA).