Mauer, Twins power past Rays 11-8
By Brian Hall
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Joe Mauer homered and drove in four runs, and the Minnesota Twins held on for a 11-8 win against the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday night.
Jake Cave had three hits and a pair of RBIs, and Robbie Grossman added three hits for Minnesota, which has won eight of nine games on its homestand.
Trevor Hildenberger (2-2) struck out the side in the seventh to pick up the win in relief of starter Jake Odorizzi.
Tampa Bay starter Nathan Eovaldi (3-4) gave up eight runs and nine hits with two walks in 2 2/3 innings. Rookie Jake Bauers hit a three-run homer for the Rays, who climbed within a run before the Twins pulled away late.
Both starters had entered the game on impressive runs. Odorizzi had allowed just two runs over 17 innings in his previous three starts. Eovaldi had given up two runs in 19 innings over his three previous outings.
Neither could keep the run going.
Mauer led off the bottom of the first inning with a hard single to left and later scored in a four-run first that included six hits. Jorge Polanco added an RBI triple in the inning.
Minnesota posted another four runs in the third with Cave knocking an RBI double and Mauer hitting a three-run homer to straightaway center field off the batter’s eye. It was Mauer’s third homer of the season and ended Eovaldi’s night.
Eovaldi saw his ERA rise from 3.35 to 4.59 in his shortest outing of the season.
Odorizzi faltered after being given an 8-1 lead in his first start against his former club. He gave up six runs – five earned – in 4 1/3 innings.
SNELL GETS HIS SHOT
Rays left-hander Blake Snell was named to the American League All-Star team on Friday as an injury replacement for Cleveland’s Corey Kluber. Snell earned his first All-star bid by ranking tied for second in the AL with 12 wins, third with a 2.27 ERA and eighth with 134 strikeouts.
“It’s cool,” Snell said. “I knew I deserved it. Knew I put in the work. It’s just awesome. It’s a childhood dream and something that I’ve look forward to for a long time. To be able to do it and say I did it, nobody can take that away from me.”
It’s the ninth consecutive season Tampa Bay has had a pitcher named to the All-Star team. Only the New York Yankees have had more selections in a row with 12.
Twins: OF Byron Buxton had to leave his game with Triple-A Rochester on Thursday with pain in his left hand/wrist area. Manager Paul Molitor said X-rays didn’t show any issue and that he hasn’t heard the results of an MRI. Molitor said he’s optimistic it’s a “minor strain” and wasn’t sure if Buxton will have to go on the disabled list.