Jorge Polanco drove in Max Kepler with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth to give the Minnesota Twins a 5-4 walk-off victory over the Tampa Bay Rays in the rubber game of their three-game series on Sunday afternoon in Minneapolis.
Kepler led off the inning by lining an opposite-field double down the left field line off reliever Matt Wisler (3-5) and then advancing to third when the ball rolled under the glove of Austin Meadows for an error.
Polanco followed two pitches later with a fly ball to the warning track in right that was caught by Randy Arozarena. Kepler tagged and easily scored the winning run.
Josh Donaldson had two hits and three RBIs, Kepler went 2-for-3 with two walks and three runs scored and Polanco walked three times and scored twice for Minnesota. Alex Colome (3-4) picked up the win with a scoreless inning of relief.
Mike Zunino homered for the fourth time in his last four starts and Wander Franco homered and doubled for Tampa Bay, which finished its nine-game road trip with a 6-3 record.
Minnesota took advantage of some early wildness by Rays starter Luis Patino to take a 2-0 lead in the first. Kepler and Polanco started the inning with walks and Donaldson singled to drive in Kepler. Luis Arraez then walked to load the bases. One out later, Trevor Larnach knocked in Polanco with a fielder’s choice.
The Twins extended their lead to 4-0 in the fourth, once again taking advantage of back-to-back two-out walks to Kepler and Polanco by reliever Ryan Sherriff. Donaldson then drove both in with a double into the left-field corner.
Tampa Bay cut it to 4-1 in the fifth when Zunino lined his 25th home run of the season into the left-field bleachers off starter Charlie Barnes. Franco made it 4-3 in the sixth with a 377-foot two-run homer off reliever Edgar Garcia into the stands in right, his sixth of the season. It extended his streak of reaching base to 18 consecutive games.
The Rays then tied it, 4-4, in the seventh off reliever Tyler Duffey, taking advantage of a pair of walks and an Andrelton Simmons throwing error on a potential inning-ending double play. Jordan Luplow, who started the inning with a walk, scored the tying run on a bases-loaded infield single by Arozarena.
–Field Level Media