Sports

Rays Shut Down Twins, Hold Wild-Card Lead

ADAM CZECH, ASSOCIATED PRESS
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MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 14: Yunel Escobar #11 of the Tampa Bay Rays congratulates Wil Myers #9 on scoring a run against the Minnesota Twins during the second inning of the game on September 14, 2013 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

MINNEAPOLIS, MN – SEPTEMBER 14: Yunel Escobar #11 of the Tampa Bay Rays congratulates Wil Myers #9 on scoring a run against the Minnesota Twins during the second inning of the game on September 14, 2013 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Matt Moore and five relievers combined on a four-hitter and the Tampa Bay Rays held their wild-card lead, defeating the Minnesota Twins 7-0 on a rainy Saturday night.

The Rays teamed to blank the Twins for the second straight day, and threw their 15th shutout of the season. Tampa Bay beat Minnesota for the 11th time in a row.

Desmond Jennings hit a pair of RBI doubles as the Rays stayed 1½ games ahead of Cleveland for the second AL wild-card spot.

Evan Longoria and Yunel Escobar each added two hits and an RBI.

After first pitch was delayed by 7 minutes, Tampa Bay took a 4-0 lead before the game was delayed 2 hours, 4 minutes in the middle of the fourth inning.

Moore struck out five over three innings and didn’t return after the delay. He has only allowed one earned run in 14 2-3 innings since coming off the disabled list earlier this month.

Brandon Gomes (1-1) pitched the fourth inning and got the win.

The few fans remaining in Target Field cheered as the tarp was pulled off the infield, and the Rays went right back to work having their way with the Twins once the game resumed. Minnesota hasn’t beat Tampa Bay since April 20 of last season.

Andrew Albers (2-3) allowed four runs in four innings for Minnesota. After winning his first two starts, the rookie hasn’t won in more than a month.

The Twins haven’t scored in the last 19 innings and have been outscored on their current three-game losing streak 36-5.

Jennings hit a double that scored Sean Rodriguez in the sixth. He hit another RBI double to the same spot in left that made it 7-0 in the eighth.

There’s a reason the umpires waited so long for a break in the rain to resume this one. If the game would have been canceled in the fourth, the two teams would’ve started over on Sunday and likely played a doubleheader, erasing the four-run lead Tampa Bay had built.

NOTES: Twins GM Terry Ryan said C Joe Mauer (concussion) didn’t take batting practice or run the bases before the game, but he did do cardio work with team trainers. … Tampa Bay’s Ben Zobrist — hitless in his last 15 at-bats — was given the night off. … It was the sixth weather-affected game at Target Field this season. … David Price (8-8, 3.45) will try to break a three-start losing streak when he starts for the Rays in Sunday’s series finale. For Minnesota, Pedro Hernandez (3-1, 5.25) will make his first start against the Rays.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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