Devil Rays 7, Twins 3
McGriff’s two-run shot, the 492nd homer of his career, opened the scoring as the Devil Rays beat the Minnesota Twins 7-3 Monday.
McGriff, making his second start for the Devil Rays since he was brought up from the minor leagues Friday, homered for the first time since last Sept. 2. The homer off Seth Greisinger (2-4) landed in the first row of the upper deck in right field.
Asked if he knew the ball was gone when he hit it, McGriff replied, “No, that was my first homer in a long time, so you never know.”
He also downplayed the race to 500 homers, a feat accomplished only by 19 players.
“One at a time,” McGriff said. “I’m here to hit the ball. I’m trying to make adjustments. I’ve survived a lot of years by making adjustments.”
Tampa Bay, just 4-17 on the road this season, ended an eight-game road losing streak overall and a seven-game losing streak at the Metrodome that dated to Aug. 19, 2001.
Rob Bell (1-2) allowed two runs and three hits in seven innings to win for the first time in four starts since beating Toronto last Sept. 22.
“You want to raise the bar and get the road trip off to a good start,” Bell said.
Tino Martinez hit a solo homer for Tampa Bay and scored twice.
Minnesota has lost eight of 11 and was 12-16 in May.
“This is just a bump we’re going through right now,” the Twins’ Jacque Jones said. “I don’t think anyone’s panicking.”
Greisinger gave up five runs and five hits in 5 2-3 innings.
Mientkiewicz’s RBI double scored Guzman to cut the Devil Rays’ lead to 2-1 in the third, but Greisinger hung a pitch in the fourth to Martinez, who hit his eighth homer.
Henry Blanco homered leading off the fifth, cutting the lead to 3-2, but Greisinger gave up Aubrey Huff’s RBI double and Jose Cruz Jr.’s sacrifice fly in the bottom half. Bell retired the next nine batters.
“Every time we scored a run, our pitchers gave it right back,” Twinsmanager Ron Gardenhire said. “That’s demoralizing.”
The seven runs tied the most by the Devil Rays in a road game this season. They scored seven on three previous occasions. … Tampa Bay manager Lou Piniella won his 1,400th game, 23rd on the career list. … The Twins hadn’t had a losing record in May since 2000. … Ford was hit on the left arm by Bell’s pitch in the first inning. After he was examined by Twins trainer Jim Kahmann, Ford stayed in the game. … The game opened a 13-game homestand forthe Twins. … Tampa Bay was 10-16 in May.