Rays beat Twins 8-7 on Zach Duke’s error in 10th
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) The Tampa Bay Rays stood near their dugout for an agonizing couple of minutes before their victory became official.
Pinch-runner Johnny Field scored the winning run from second base in the 10th inning as reliever Zach Duke missed first base after taking a flip from first baseman Joe Mauer on Denard Span’s two-out grounder, leading the Rays to an 8-7 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Friday night.
The safe call was upheld after a 2-minute, 16-second video review.
”A crazy ending,” Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer said. ”It was a bang-bang play. It was nice to have the ball bounce our way.”
Wilson Ramos had a one-out double off Duke (1-1). After Mallex Smith struck out and Adeiny Hechavarria was intentionally walked, Mauer made a diving catch on Span’s ball and made a toss to Duke, who missed touching the base on two attempts that allowed Field to score.
”It was one of those plays where if you’re out, you’re out, but if not you’re hoping to steal a run like that,” Field said.
The Twins were told the video review was inconclusive.
”I felt like I got a piece of the base, but I guess they didn’t see it on the replay,” Duke said. ”Obviously I should do a better job touching the base, I guess.”
Alex Colome (1-2) worked a perfect 10th for the win.
Tampa Bay forced extra innings when Carlos Gomez was hit by a pitch from Fernando Rodney with two outs in the ninth, stole second and scored on Brad Miller’s RBI single to tie it at 7.
Miller (strained left groin) was reinstated from the 10-day disabled list before the game.
Minnesota had rallied from a late four-run deficit to take a 7-6 in the ninth on Max Kepler’s solo shot. Eddie Rosario had pulled the Twins even at 6 on his third career grand slam in the eighth, coming on an 0-2, two-out pitch from Sergio Romo.
Span drove in three runs for the Rays. Archer, coming off a start Saturday against Philadelphia in which the right-hander gave up seven runs in four innings, limited Minnesota to two runs and four hits in 6 2/3 innings.
Lance Lynn, making his first start since April 9 due in part of three postponed games, gave up five runs, seven hits, five walks and had seven strikeouts in six-plus innings.
Span hit a two-run double in the fifth as the Rays grabbed a 3-2 lead, and added a run-scoring single during a three-run seventh that made it 6-2. The leadoff hitter tops Tampa Bay with 14 RBIs, coming in 48 at-bats.
Logan Morrison put the Twins up 1-0 in the second with his first homer, coming in his first at-bat against his former team. Morrison signed with Minnesota as a free agent after hitting 38 homers last year with Tampa Bay.
Brian Dozier singled in the sixth to extend his season-opening hitting streak to 14 games. It’s one away from the Twins’ team record of 15 held by Kirby Puckett (1994) and Josh Willingham (2012). Dating back to last season, Dozier has hit safely in 21 consecutive games.
Twins: RHP Phil Hughes (strained left oblique) will return from the 10-day disabled list to start the series finale Sunday. Manager Paul Molitor said OF Byron Buxton, placed the 10-day DL Wednesday due to migraines, is doing ”slightly better.”
Rays: CF Kevin Kiermaier had surgery to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb and will be sidelined two to three months.
Manager Paul Molitor on the Twins playing just 14 games due to four postponements and five off days:
”It kind of feels like you’re waiting to get started, almost,” Molitor said. ”It’s probably been as strange of a start to a season that I can recall, which spans quite a few years, actually.”
Mauer walked in the eighth and has reached base in 27 straight games against the Rays.
Twins RHP Kyle Gibson (1-0) will face Rays LHP Blake Snell (2-1) Saturday night. Gibson is 1-4 with a 7.04 ERA in six starts against Tampa Bay. Snell has given up two runs over 12 1/3 innings in winning his last two starts.