Nick Gordon’s tiebreaking single in the top of the ninth inning through a drawn-in infield Sunday lifted the Minnesota Twins to a 6-5 win over the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg, Fla.
With Josh Donaldson on third, Gordon punched a single to the left of second base off Andrew Kittredge (8-3) with the Rays positioning three infielders to the right side.
Gordon went 3-for-5 with a double, a run, two RBIs and a stolen base. Luis Arraez also had three hits for the Twins (59-77), who broke a four-game losing skid.
Tyler Duffey (3-3) and Alex Colome (11th save) each pitched a scoreless frame. Colome pitched out of a jam in the ninth by getting Nelson Cruz to fly out.
Twins starter Griffin Jax was gifted a 4-0 lead but lasted only 4 2/3 innings, with three strikeouts and a walk. He allowed four runs on six hits.
Brandon Lowe and Austin Meadows slugged two-run homers for the Rays (86-51).
Rookie Wander Franco’s seventh-inning double lifted his streak of reaching base to 35 games, the third-longest stretch ever by a player under 21.
Rays starter Luis Patino opened sharply but only pitched 2 2/3 innings. He was tagged with four runs on six hits, fanning four and walking three.
A day after being rocked by the Rays in a six-homer assault, the Twins scored three times after Patino retired the first five batters.
In the second, Jake Cave grounded an RBI single. Two more scored on Arraez’s lined single as Patino labored through the 31-pitch frame.
Following Donaldson’s single in the third, Patino balked him to second as Donaldson left first early on a steal attempt, sent him to third on a wild pitch and walked Max Kepler.
After Patino whiffed Gordon, Cave produced his second RBI single. A walk to Ben Rortvedt filled the bases and chased Patino after 73 pitches, but reliever J.P. Feyereisen induced a fielder’s choice against Willians Astudillo.
For the second straight game, Lowe struck with a deep shot — popping his 33rd to right field to get the Rays back into the series finale at 4-2.
The Rays trimmed it to 4-3 on singles by Lowe and Cruz in the fifth to end Jax’s day.
Southpaw reliever Caleb Thielbar entered to face lefty-hitting Meadows, and the Rays slugger belted his 23rd blast to right-center for a 5-4 lead.
However, Gordon’s single tied it at 5 in the seventh to set up the late drama.
–Field Level Media