Devil Rays 4, Twins 3, 10 innings

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP)—The Tampa Bay Devil Rays have made Minnesota’s All-Star closer Joe Nathan look ordinary.

The Devil Rays rallied for two in the ninth inning against Nathan and pinch-hitter Dioner Navarro drove in the winning run with a grounder in the 10th to give Tampa Bay a 4-3 victory over the Twins on Wednesday night.

Tampa Bay got two-out RBI singles from Elijah Dukes and Ty Wigginton in the ninth as Nathan blew his first save opportunity in eight tries.

“We got huge at-bats against one of the best closers in the game, and I think we deserved to win the game,” Navarro said.

Nathan called the Devil Rays his “cryptonite.”

“They obviously can score runs,” Nathan said. “You’ve got to make pitches. I left some balls up to them and they did what you’re suppose to do.”

In three games against Tampa Bay this season, he has allowed four runs and nine hits in three innings.

“I don’t think too many people have his number,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “He had two outs. He just couldn’t finish off, that’s all.”

Before this season, Nathan had given up two hits in 10 innings against the Devil Rays.

“An unusual conclusion to a game,” Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. “So many unusual things that occured there. We took advantage of it.”

Carlos Pena had a one-out infield single in the 10th off Matt Guerrier (0-1) that hit an overhanging catwalk and landed between first and second. Ben Zobrist pinch ran for Pena and appeared to be heading home with the game-winning run but stumbled rounding third on Brendan Harris’ double and had stay at third.

“I’ll have to laugh at that,” Zobrist said. “I’ll probably see that on scoreboards throughout my career.”

Zobrist then scored on Navarro’s grounder when he beat a throw to the plate by shortstop Jason Bartlett.

“It was a weird game,” Navarro said. “I just went up there and tried to get a good pitch. Fortunately I hit it to the right spot.”

Pena also had hit a foul ball just behind the plate that got stuck on a catwalk in the eighth.

Minnesota had been 13-0 this year when leading after eight. The Devil Rays won for the second time in 13 tries when trailing going into the ninth.

Al Reyes (1-0) pitched a scoreless 10th for the win.

Torii Hunter pushed his career-high hitting streak to 17 games with a two-run homer off Jae Seo in the second inning to put the Twins ahead 2-0. Hunter has five homers and 16 RBIs during the streak.

Minnesota starter Boof Bonser allowed one run and six hits in six innings.

Joe Mauer made it 3-1 with an RBI single in the seventh. Pat Neshek and Jesse Crain combined for two scoreless innings of relief before Nathan gave up three hits and a walk in the ninth.

Seo allowed two runs and seven hits in six innings. He has just two wins in 22 starts with Tampa Bay.

The Devil Rays had at least one batter reach base in each of the first six innings, but scored only once on Wigginton’s RBI grounder with the bases loaded in the fifth. Tampa Bay went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position and hit into two double plays through six innings.

Gardenhire was ejected after arguing with first base umpire Angel Hernandez after Wigginton was called safe on a potential inning-ending double-play grounder in the fifth. A couple of close plays at first went against Minnesota early on, and Hernandez also called a balk on Bonser one inning earlier.

It was Gardenhire’s first ejection this season and 29th overall.


Twins RF Michael Cuddyer (bruised back) was scratched from the starting lineup after taking batting practice and is day to day. Cuddyer was hurt in the sixth inning Tuesday night when he lost his balance rounding second base on Justin Morneau’s two-out single and did a forward roll before being tagged out by Wigginton near third … The Devil Rays are 1-for-10 with the bases loaded and less than two outs this season. … Minnesota INF Jeff Cirillo made his first start at DH since being sidelined in early April by a left knee injury. He had been 0-for-16 at Tropicana Field before getting a second-inning single in his first at-bat.

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