MINNESOTA SPORTS ROUNDUP: Rays sweep Minnesota as Twins never led in weekend series
MINNEAPOLIS -- (SportsNetwork.com) James Loney drove in a pair of runs as the Tampa Bay Rays grabbed a 5-3 win over the Minnesota Twins to complete a three-game sweep.
Evan Longoria had two hits, an RBI and a run scored and Desmond Jennings gave two hits and a run scored for the Rays, who have won five straight.
"We're definitely hitting better ... working better at-bats, there's much more confidence," Rays manager Joe Maddon said.
Chris Archer (6-5) allowed three runs -- one earned -- on six hits with a pair of walks and four strikeouts over 6 1/3 innings.
Josh Willingham drove in two runs for the Twins, who had won five of six prior to this series.
"We had chances all throughout the game ... we just didn't get them in," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said.
Kevin Correia (5-12) gave up four runs on seven hits in four innings of work to take the loss.
The Rays put their first three men on base and got two runs across on Loney's single to right. Matt Joyce, though, was nailed at home on a suicide-squeeze laid down by Brandon Guyer, and Yunel Escobar lined out to end the frame.
In the second, back-to-back singles by Kevin Kiermaier and Jennings left runners at the corners, and Ben Zobrist's sacrifice fly made it a 3-0 game.
Minnesota got a run back in the second after Oswaldo Arcia made it to second thanks to a bad throw from Archer and scored on a Willingham single.
Tampa got it right back, though, as Escobar doubled home Longoria in the third for a 4-1 lead.
The sixth inning saw back-to-back doubles from Joyce and Longoria to give the Rays a 5-1 advantage.
Minnesota, though, trimmed its deficit in the home half of the sixth. Singles from Trevor Plouffe and Kendrys Morales left runners at second and third thanks to a bad play by Kiermaier on Morales' single. A wild pitch from Archer scored one, and a Willingham groundout scored another to make it a 5-3 game.
Archer gave up a one-out single to Sam Fuld in the seventh. Brad Boxberger came in and set down the next two batters to end the inning.
Grant Balfour got the first out of the ninth, but then walked the next two batters. Kirby Yates then stepped in and got the final two outs for his first career save.