MINNEAPOLIS -- Right-hander Trevor May bounced back after a rough outing to turn in a quality start and was backed by a four-hit day from Eduardo Escobar to help lead the Twins to a 6-4 win over the Rays on Saturday afternoon at Target Field.
May gave up three runs on seven hits over a career-high 6 2/3 innings, but exited with the game tied after giving up a two-run homer to Tim Beckham in the seventh. The only other run he gave up came on a sacrifice fly from Logan Forsythe in the fourth.
"Trevor had a good day," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "He bounced back after his last start. His fastball was good and his curveball was sharp."
He outpitched Alex Colome, who lasted just 3 1/3 innings, giving up three runs on six hits.
Minnesota scored three runs in the third with Eddie Rosario collecting an RBI single and Danny Santana hitting a broken-bat two-run single. The Twins didn't score again until the seventh, keyed by a throwing error from reliever Kevin Jepsen to load the bases with one out. Kurt Suzuki provided the go-ahead RBI with a sac fly to right before Escobar connected on an RBI single for his fourth hit.
"Comebacker, runners on first and second, [trying to get the double play] is always your first instinct," Jepsen said. "I should have got the out at first."
Forsythe added a solo home run in the ninth for the Rays before Glen Perkins finished up for his 13th save.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Kurt Klutch: With the bases loaded and one out in the seventh, Suzuki didn't waste any time giving the Twins the lead with a sacrifice fly to deep right field on a first-pitch fastball from Jepsen. The Twins had wasted several opportunities with runners in scoring position earlier in the game, but Suzuki's go-ahead RBI proved to be the difference with Escobar tacking on an insurance run with an RBI single.
"It's just an experienced hitter realizing the situation," Molitor said. "And executing his plan."
May's day ends after two-run blast: May, coming off his worst outing of the season, looked much sharper against the Rays, and was pitching with a two-run lead in the seventh. But that lead disappeared in a hurry, as he served up a game-tying two-run blast to Beckham on a 2-1 fastball. But May still picked up a quality start and set a career high by going 6 2/3 innings. But May remained in the game to record one more out, and while he was saddled with a no-decision, he was happy Molitor stuck with him. More >
"I felt good," May said. "I was just trying to get ahead better than last time. It's been a theme I've been saying all year that I need to get deeper into games and get a little flow going into that bullpen."
Wrong base:Kevin Kiermaier is a force on defense. The Rays center fielder can run down anything in the air and he has a strong arm. But every now and then that strong arm will get him in trouble when he goes for broke rather than making the percentage play. That's what happened in the second inning when Rosario singled to center with one out and runners on first and second. Kiermaier charged hard and tried to throw out the lead runner, who scored easily. Meanwhile, the runners advanced to second and third because of Kiermaier's decision. Santana's two-out single scored both runners to give the Twins a 3-0 lead.
"I felt like I liked my chances right there, even if it wasn't hit right at me," Kiermaier said. "At the same time, it was a very dumb throw. Shouldn't have even tried. Should have kept the runners at first and second to keep the double play alive."
Bellatti's escape: Andrew Bellatti entered the game in the fourth with a runner on second and one out. The Rays trailed 3-1 at that point and the rookie right-hander did not allow any further damage. After pitching a scoreless fifth, Bellatti walked Suzuki to start the sixth. Escobar followed with a double to right. With runners at second and third and no outs, the Rays' infield drew in on the grass hoping to cut off a run from scoring. No worries. Bellatti then struck out, in order, Rosario, Aaron Hicks, and Santana to end the threat. More >
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Twins reliever Blaine Boyer tossed a 1-2-3 eighth inning and has now thrown 16 straight scoreless innings, which is tied for the second-longest active scoreless streak in the Majors along with Royals reliever Wade Davis. Boyer's ERA went from 15.00 to 2.37 in the process.
Forsythe's fourth home run of the season left him two shy of tying his career-high of six in a single season, done each of the last three seasons.
Rays third baseman Evan Longoria doubled to left with one out in the fourth and was ruled safe at second by second-base umpire Jordan Baker on a close play. The Twins challenged the ruling on the field, but after a review, the call on the field stood as called.
WHAT'S NEXT Rays:Chris Archer will make his ninth start of the season on Sunday at 2:10 p.m. ET after a gutsy performance against the Yankees Tuesday night. The first five batters Archer faced reached base, and two runs scored before he had recorded an out. But after the first, he allowed three hits and no walks the rest of the way en route to a no-decision.
Twins: Right-hander Kyle Gibson is set to start the series finale on Sunday at 1:10 p.m. CT. Gibson has been on an impressive run, as he's posted a 0.96 ERA over his last four starts.