Rays complete sweep of Twins at Target Field
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Tampa Bay Rays jumped on the Minnesota Twins early and held on from there, scoring four runs over the first three innings in a 5-3 win to wrap up the three-game series sweep Sunday at Target Field.
The victory extended the Rays' winning streak to five games.
Twins starter Kevin Correia struggled from the first batter he faced, allowing a leadoff double on the second pitch of the game. Correia walked two batters before a single to right field by Rays first baseman James Loney scored two to give Tampa a 2-0 lead.
A sacrifice fly by second baseman Ben Zobrist made it 3-0 in the second inning and an RBI double by shortstop Yunel Escobar made it 4-1 through three innings.
The support was enough for Rays right-hander Chris Archer, who allowed three runs -- one earned -- over 6 1/3 innings of work, while striking out four and walking two. The victory moved him to 6-5 on the year.
Tampa reliever Grant Balfour walked two batters in the ninth inning and was replaced by Kirby Yates, who retired the next two batters in order for his first career save.
Archer's only real hiccup came in the sixth inning, when back-to-back singles by third baseman Trevor Plouffe and first baseman Kendrys Morales, combined with a fielding error on Morales' single put runners on second and third with nobody out. Archer got the strikeout he needed from Oswaldo Arcia and got ahead of Josh Willingham 0-2, but a wild pitch plated one and a ground ball to short scored another, pulling the Twins to within 5-3.
Correia took the loss (5-12), allowing seven hits and four earned runs in four innings of work. He walked three and struck out four. His 12 losses are the most in the Majors and two more than any other pitcher in the American League. Despite the high number of losses, the rough outing was only the second in his last eight that has not qualified as a quality start.