Rays win 7-4, take series 3-1 from Twins

It was another game decided by an offensive explosion – this one lacking the come-from-behind heroics – as the Tampa Bay Rays lead the Minnesota Twins for most of the game and held on to win 7-4, taking three out of four games in the series. The Rays started chipping away early, with Sean Rodriguez scoring on Evan Longoria’s triple in the first inning and Rodriguez shooting a home run on the first pitch of the third. The Twins scored in the bottom of the first and the 2-1 margin held until the seventh inning with an offensive stalemate in place.

At that point, the Rays put out a burst of power, sending all nine men to the plate. Carlos Pena and B.J. Upton singled to open it up and Jason Bartlett reached on a bunt attempt; Twins starting pitcher Nick Blackburn was charged with a with a throwing error and Pena scored from second. Sean Rodriguez –3-for-5 on the day – grounded out to the Twins shortstop before Carl Crawford was intentionally walked, bringing the all-star 3B Longoria to the plate. Longo’s single up the middle scored Upton and Bartlett and chased Blackburn from the game. After Willy Aybar struck out, Gabe Kapler doubled on a pinch-hit in place of Matt Joyce, scoring Crawford and Longoria.