Game 90: Hernandez Struggles, Trio Of Homers Lift Rays 7-4 Over Twins

By Jenna West

Despite another disappointing start for Rays’ pitcher Roberto Hernandez, the Rays’ bats delivered, including three homeruns, in a 7-4 victory Monday night against the Minnesota Twins.

It was a rough outing from the beginning for Hernandez, as he hit his first batter, Brian Dozier, with a pitch then walked Joe Mauer in the top of the first inning. Hernandez’s performance in the second inning was stronger, striking out two of the three batters he faced. However, things went downhill from there as Hernandez gave up three runs, including a homerun to Justin Morneau, in the next two innings.

In six innings, Hernandez gave up eight hits, walked three batters, and had only three strikeouts for the evening. With a 4-10 record for the season, Hernandez is the first Rays pitcher to have 10 losses before the All-Star break since Seth McClung (2-10) in 2006.

Rays’ reliever Alex Torres was credited with the win, as he went three up, three down in his seventh inning appearance. Overall, the Rays’ pitching staff had only four strikeouts while giving up 10 hits against the Twins.

Minnesota’s starting pitcher, Samuel Deduno, also struggled Monday night, giving up 10 hits with five errors and three strikeouts against the Rays. The Twins’ pitchers had 7 errors with 12 hits and 5 K’s.

Luke Scott’s bat has been valuable to the Rays recently, as he was hitting .377 with 10 RBI in 17 games prior to Monday night’s game. Scott continued to be a key hitter as he got to Deduno early, hitting a leadoff homerun in the first inning.

Later, when the Rays were down 2-3, they were able to tie the score as Desmond Jennings first drew a walk from Deduno and Evan Longoria batted Jennings in with a RBI single. The Rays continued to deliver offensively after scoring three more runs in the seventh inning, thanks to a solo shot by Yunel Escobar and Ben Zobrist’s two-run homer.

The Rays reached 50 wins with Monday night’s victory and are now 10 games over .500. Monday night’s game was the first of a four-game series the Rays play against the Twins at Tropicana Field.