ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) – Jake Odorizzi pitched six scoreless innings to lower his AL-best ERA to 1.96, and the Minnesota Twins held off the Tampa Bay Rays for a 9-7 victory Sunday.
Odorizzi (8-2) gave up three hits and struck out nine in winning his eighth straight decision. The right-hander, who departed with a 7-0 lead, has not allowed a run in six of his last seven starts.
Minnesota rebounded from a 14-3 loss Thursday night to take the final three games of the series, running baseball’s best record to 40-18.
The Rays used a five-run seventh to get within two.
Kevin Kiermaier had a run-scoring infield hit and Austin Meadows drove in a pair with a single off Matt Magill.
Brandon Lowe picked up another a run-scoring infield single against Ryne Harper, with a second run scoring on second baseman Jonathan Schoop’s throwing error.
Blake Parker replaced Harper, who faced one batter, and struck out Willy Adames looking on a 3-2 pitch with two runners on.
After Schoop hit a two-run homer in the eighth, Christian Arroyo had a two-run shot during the bottom half off Parker to make it 9-7.
Taylor Rogers struck out the side for his fifth save.
C.J. Cron had a three-run double during a four-run fifth off Ryan Yarbrough (4-2), helping the Twins open a 7-0 lead.
Minnesota extended its franchise single-season record of scoring three-or-more runs to 26 consecutive games.
Yarbrough gave up seven runs and 10 hits over seven innings as Tampa Bay used a traditional starter for the second consecutive game instead of an opener due in part to a taxed bullpen.
Twins: DH Nelson Cruz (strained left wrist) went 1 for 3 in his second game with Class A Fort Myers and could be back Tuesday.
Rays: OFs Tommy Pham (right calf cramp) and Avisail Garcia (hamstring) were both out of the lineup for the third straight game but will likely start Tuesday.
Twins: C Mitch Garver (high left ankle strain) was reinstated from the 10-day injured list and had an RBI single
Rays: INF Yandy Diaz (bruised left hand) returned from the 10-day IL. … Reliever Jose Alvarado went on the family emergency leave list.
Twins: LHP Devin Smeltzer (0-0), coming off six scoreless innings in his major league debut Tuesday against Milwaukee, goes against Indians RHP Shane Bieber (4-2) Tuesday night.
Rays: LHP Blake Snell (3-4) and Detroit LHP Ryan Carpenter (0-2) are Tuesday night’s scheduled starters.
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