ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP)—Sidney Ponson fixed himself on the fly and beat the Devil Rays again.
“As the game went along, he made an adjustment. We talked to him about getting on top of the ball a little more and his last couple innings the ball was really diving,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “We were excited about that, his adjustment during the game more than anything else.”
Ponson (2-3) gave up five hits. Both of his wins this season have come against the Devil Rays.
“I was just correcting my mechanics during the game,” he said. “That’s what it’s all about.”
Ponson retired his last nine batters, and gave up two singles over his final four innings.
The top of the sixth ended on a strange play when Cuddyer lost his balance rounding second base on Justin Morneau’s two-out single and did a forward roll before being tagged out by third baseman Ty Wigginton. Cuddyer left one inning later with a bruised back.
“We’ll go check and see how he is tomorrow,” Gardenhire said.
Minnesota’s Torii Hunter doubled in the seventh, extending his career-high hitting streak to 16 games. The Twins have won 17 of their last 20 against Tampa Bay.
Delmon Young homered in the second for the Devil Rays.
The Twins took a 2-0 lead in the first on an RBI grounder by Joe Mauer and Cuddyer’s sacrifice fly.
A pair of defensive mistakes keyed Minnesota’s four-run second that made it 6-0.
“We imploded early,” Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said.
Hunter and Jason Kubel opened the second with walks. Jason Tyner then reached safely when no one covered first on his bunt single. Pitcher Edwin Jackson, who fielded the ball, looked at first before making an errant throw past third that allowed Hunter and Kubel to scored. Jason Bartlett and Cuddyer added run-scoring grounders.
“I just airmailed it,” Jackson said. “Some things didn’t go my way, but that’s part of the game.”
Jackson (0-4) allowed six runs—four earned—and five hits in 1 1-3 innings. He has given up 11 runs over 4 1-3 innings in two losses against Minnesota this year.
Tyner extended Minnesota’s lead to 7-1 with an RBI single in the seventh. Morneau had a run-scoring double in the eighth.
“It was a good ballgame for us,” Gardenhire said. “Sidney threw the ball well. We scored runs early. Executed. A good offensive night.”
Minnesota activated INF Jeff Cirillo (left knee) from the 15-day disabled list and optioned INF Alexi Casilla to Triple-A Rochester. … Tampa Bay has been outscored 26-4 in the first inning this season. … Twins 2B Luis Castillo (quadriceps) was in the lineup for the first time since April 20. He went 3-for-6. “He makes things happen,” Gardenhire said. “He’s our kick-start.” … Jackson has an 18.90 ERA (14 earned runs in 6 2-3 innings) in five career outings against the Twins. … Tampa Bay LHP Jon Switzer (left shoulder) threw one inning in an extended spring training game. INF-OF Greg Norton (right knee) is also playing for the Devil Rays extended spring team. … Minnesota has at least one double in 21 straight games.