Longoria and Morrison have multi HR games in win over Twins
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Evan Longoria has rediscovered his power stroke.
Longoria homered for the fourth consecutive game, connecting twice, and the Rays earned a 7-5 win against the Minnesota Twins on Sunday.
Logan Morrison also homered twice and Longoria added an RBI single in the ninth for Tampa Bay, which entered with the third-most homers in the major leagues and hit a total of 11 in the four games in Minnesota.
"Both those guys, gosh, they’re on fire," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "Just shows when you get two really good hitters on fire, they can carry a big load for you offensively and they’re doing that."
Longoria homered in every game of the series and has 14 on the season, while Morrison homered in the past three games for a total of seven this season. The two have paced the power display for the Rays, who have hit 83 homers in 55 games.
Longoria said he’s widened his stance at the plate, allowing him to see the ball better.
"It’s kind of one of those moments where you realize that sometimes what you did early on in your career doesn’t always work the whole time," Longoria said. "It was a change that took place gradually, but now I feel like I’m in a really good spot."
Xavier Cedeno (3-1) got the win despite allowing a game-tying homer to Eduardo Nunez in the bottom of the eighth. Alex Colome stayed perfect with his 15th save in 15 chances.
Minnesota’s Kevin Jepsen (2-5) allowed two hits and two walks in the ninth as the Twins lost for the sixth time in seven games. Brad Miller’s sacrifice fly scored Steven Souza Jr. to break a 5-all tie and Longoria followed with an RBI single.
"They’ve got some hot hitters over there," Minnesota manager Paul Molitor said. "You make mistakes, you have to pay. We didn’t contain late in the game, we didn’t take advantage of all the opportunities we had early in the game, and translated into another loss."
Byung Ho Park and Robbie Grossman hit back-to-back homers for the Twins in the third inning.
Longoria became the first Tampa Bay player to homer in each game of a four-game series, and his total of five were a team record in a four-game series. The team’s total of 11 home runs in the four games is also a record.
Before Longoria, the previous player to homer in all four games of a series was Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Joc Pederson last June at Colorado.
Rays: OF Brandon Guyer was placed on the 15-day disabled list prior to the game with a left hamstring strain. Tampa Bay recalled infielder Nick Franklin from Triple-A Durham.
Twins: Closer Glen Perkins will throw another bullpen session on Tuesday as he tries to make his way back from a left shoulder strain. General manager Terry Ryan said Perkins would be evaluated after Tuesday’s session, but his recovery has been positive since returning to the mound recently. … Kyle Gibson (right shoulder strain) made a rehab start on Sunday with Triple-A Rochester and Ryan said he hoped Gibson would approach the 90-pitch mark.
Rays: RHP Chris Archer (3-7, 4.75 ERA) takes the mound on Monday as Tampa Bay travels to Arizona, who will start LHP Robbie Ray (2-4, 4.74). Archer took the loss in his previous start at Kansas City and is 2-4 with a 7.13 ERA on the road this season, allowing at least four runs in five of his seven road starts.
Twins: The homestand continues following a day off with LHP Pat Dean (1-2, 4.15) facing the Miami Marlins on Tuesday. Miami counters with LHP Adam Conley (3-3, 3.72). Dean will be making his fourth career major league start after giving up four runs in a loss at Oakland in his previous outing.