Rays Recap: Tampa Bay stomps out Twins to stay hot in Pirates opener

Tampa Bay Rays v Minnesota Twins
Tampa Bay Rays v Minnesota Twins / David Berding/GettyImages

The Tampa Bay Rays now sit 36-39 on the season following a series win at Target Field against the Minnesota Twins. The series win also now puts the Rays above .500 on the road this season.

However, the trip to Minneapolis did not start pretty for Tampa Bay. The Rays gave up a 4-0 lead in the fourth inning, allowing the Twins to tie the game back up with a big three-run double from Willi Castro and a Trevor Larnach RBI.

Despite it being Aaron Civale who gave up the first four earned runs, Rays' closer Pete Fairbanks would earn the loss as Carlos Santana pinch hit delivered the winning run for Minnesota in Tampa's 7-6 loss.

The tables would flip in this series though as Tampa Bay gutted out some tight wins that went into extra innings. In the middle game on Wednesday, it was a low-scoring battle as starting pitchers Taj Bradley and Joe Ryan would finish with a combined 12 innings of work, and both would exit with Minnesota winning the game 2-1.

The Rays would repsond to this deficit with a Yandy Diaz RBI knock on the infield and tie the game in the seventh. In the eighth and ninth innings, neither Tampa Bay nor Minnesota could plate runs and the game went to extras. Colin Poche, Kevin Kelly, and Jason Adam (who earned the win) combined for great relief, giving up just two hits and one walk while blanking the Twins.

It would be Jonny DeLuca who delivered a hit down the third baseline that led to a Minnesota throwing error. Randy Arozarena came in to score and a save by Phil Maton earned Tampa Bay the win.

In the third and series-deciding game, the Rays offense was a little more lively, scoring seven runs thanks to big performances from players like Diaz, who went 2-5 with a two-run homer. Jose Siri also homered for Tampa Bay, bringing his impressive season total up to nine on the season.

There would be even more extra innings heroics for Tampa Bay as this time the Twins would have a four-run bottom of the ninth on home runs from Carlos Santana and Jose Miranda to tie the game at 6-6. But DeLuca came through big again with a hit to center scoring Taylor Walls as the Rays would hold on to win 7-6 thanks to a two-inning save from Fairbanks.

This series was big to get for Tampa Bay to close out June since they sit below .500 this month. It could be the sign of a turnaround for the rest of the summer as the trade deadline approaches.