The Tampa Bay Rays needed 13 innings but defeated the Minnesota Twins by a final score of 4-3 to win their 7th game in row and improve to a season high 12 games over .500 at 52-70.
After Cesar Ramos  (2-2, 4.20 ERA) escaped a jam in the top of the inning Ryan Pressly  (2-1, 2.74 ERA) got himself into hot water in the bottom of the frame. After Yunel Escobar  singled with 1-out Pressly attempted a pick off but his throw hit Escobar in the backside and bounded toward the Rays dugout allowing him to advance into scoring position.
The story of the game was the Rays pitching staff and especially their bullpen. Overall Rays pitchers struck out a season high 19 batters (while only walking 1) besting the season high mark of 18 strike outs set against the Padres on May 10th. It also sets the franchise record for strikeouts at Tropicana Field. The bullpen worked 7 scoreless innings allowing 6 hits, striking out 11 and walking 1.
It wasn’t just the Rays pitchers striking out the Twins. The Twins pitchers stuck out 16 Rays. The 35 combined strikeouts are the most in any Rays game in franchise history.
Jeremy Hellickson  pitched the first 6 innings holding the Twins to 3R/ER on 6 hits striking out 8 and walking 0. He allowed a 2-run homer to the Twins #9 hitter Pedro Florimon  and a bloop 2-out RBI single to Clete Thomas .
The Rays had many opportunities to put runs on the board as Desmond Jennings , Luke Scott , Wil Myers , and Kelly Johnson  had 2-hits apiece and Luke Scott  was on base 5 times (2-hits, 3 walks) but the offense uncharacteristically were unable to deliver hits with runners in scoring position.
The Rays offense entered the game with the 2nd best average in MLB with runners in scoring position at .291 behind only the St.Louis Cardinals at .338 but they were unable to capitalize on numerous opportunities. In the first inning James Loney  struck out with runners at 2nd and 3rd, in the 2nd inning Desmond Jennings  struck out with a runner at 2nd, and in the 7th inning Ben Zobrist  struck out with Jennings at 3rd and only 1-out and Loney struck out to end the inning. Later in the 12th inning with 1-out Evan Longoria  got himself into scoring position by stealing second base but Loney grounded out and Sam Fuld  struck out.
The Rays were down 3-1 entering the bottom of the 6th but James Loney  lined a single to lead off the inning and came home to score on Kelly Johnson ‘s 13th home run of the season which tied the score at 3-3. The home run ended Twins starter Kevin Correia ‘s evening.
The Twins bullpen was equally impressive. After Jared Burton  replaced Kevin Correia  to finish the 6th inning Caleb Thielbar  shut the Rays down in the 7th and Casey Fien  worked a scoreless 8th.
With the game tied at 3-3 entering the 9th inning Fernando Rodney  entered the game. Like last evenings game both Joe Mauer  and Justin Morneau  singled to lead off the inning. Rodney came back to strike out Ryan Doumit  and Oswaldo Arcia  and retired Aaron Hicks  on a ground out to 2nd to end the inning.
Anthony Swarzak  worked a scoreless 9th and came back to escape a potential game inning double off the bat of Kelly Johnson  thanks to a spectacular catch by Aaron Hicks  in straight away center field.
The score remained tied into the bottom of the 11th inning and Swarzak retired the first two hitters but gave up a 2-out single to Desmond Jennings  and was replaced by left hander Brian Duensing  to face the left handed hitting Luke Scott who struck out to end the inning.
Jamey Wright  worked a scoreless 9th and 10th inning. The Twins threatened in the 10th and put runners at 2nd and 3rd with 2-out but Oswaldo Arcia  grounded out harmlessly to 2nd to end the inning.
Kyle Farnsworth  came in to work the 12th inning. After retiring Aaron Hicks  to begin the inning Eduardo Escobar  singled but Farnsworth came back to strike out both Pedro Florimon  and Clete Thomas  to end the inning.
Brian Duensing  stayed on to work the 12th and retired Ben Zobrist  to lead off the inning. Evan Longoria  reached on an infield single and then did the improbable and stole his first base of the year. James Loney  hit a 1-hopper back to the mound for the second out.
At this point strategy the cat and mouse game took over between the two managers. With 1st base open Ron Gardenhire  elected to intentionally walk Wil Myers . Joe Maddon  responded by sending Sean Rodriguez  in to pinch hit for Kelly Johnson. As soon as Rodriguez was announced Gardenhire went to his bullpen and summoned right hander Ryan Pressly . Joe Maddon  countered with Sam Fuld  to pinch hit for Rodriguez and he struck out to end the inning.
Farnsworth stayed in and retired the first batter in the top of the 13th and was replaced by Cesar Ramos . Ramos gave up a single to Joe Mauer  but retired Justin Morneau  on a pop up to Ben Zobrist in short right field. With 2-out Ryan Doumit  singled against the shift to move Mauer to 3rd base. Ramos didn’t give in and struck out Oswaldo Arcia  to end the inning.
Ryan Pressly  stayed in the game and retired Jose Lobaton  to begin the bottom of the 13th but gave up a single to Yunel Escobar . After retiring Desmond Jennings on a soft fly ball to right Pressly’s pickoff attempt hit Escobar and bounded toward the Rays dugout allowing Escobar to move into scoring position.