Game 114: Ryan Roberts Leads Rays To Sweep

By David Hill

The Tampa Bay Rays rallied to tie the game in the fifth, and exploded in the top of the tenth to defeat the Minnesota Twins on an overcast Sunday afternoon at Target Field.

Desmond Jennings put the Rays on the board in the top of the first, leading off the game with a solo home run. Jeff Keppinger led off the second with another home run, giving the Rays a quick 2-0 lead as they once again jumped out on the Twins.

This time, unlike the previous two games, the Twins came back. Justin Morneau hit a two run home run in the bottom of the second inning to tie the game, and Joe Mauer drove in Denard Span on an RBI single in the bottom of the third, giving Minnesota it’s first lead of the series at 3-2.

The lead did not hold up for long, however. Ryan Roberts led off the fifth with a ground rule double, and scored on a double by Sean Rodriguez, tying the game at 3-3. After a sacrifice bunt moved Rodriguez to third, B.J. Upton grounded into a double play, ending the threat. Minnesota twice had runners on third with only one out, but were unable to push another run across.

Tied at 3-3, the game headed to the top of the tenth, where the Rays offense exploded. With the bases loaded and one out, Keppinger grounded out to short, giving the Rays a 4-3 lead. After a hit batter loaded the bases again, Roberts followed with a two run single, and pinch hitter Matthew Joyce had an RBI double, putting the Rays ahead 7-3.

The Twins had one last attempt, putting runners on first and second with one out. After a groundout moved the runners up to second and third, Fernando Rodney came in, retiring Alexi Casilla on a gorundout to end the threat. Kyle Farnsworth picked up his first victory of the year, allowing one hit in an inning of work. James Shields had a solid start, allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits and a walk, striking out two in seven innings.

Jennings finished the game 2-4 with two runs scored, a home run, a walk, and a stolen base. Roberts was 3-4 with a double, a run scored, two RBI, and a walk.