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Rays 7, Twins 4: Uneven all the way around

The Twins played a sloppy game against a good team ... and they lost

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Minnesota Twins
The Rays had plenty of hugs at the Twins’ expense on Monday night at Target Field.
Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Twins didn’t play well in any facet of Monday night’s tilt against the Tampa Bay Rays. And they aren’t playing the Mets or Guardians anymore, so it predictably ended in a loss.

Sonny Gray was as off as he’s been in a while. He threw 30-plus pitches in the first inning, escaping a bases-loaded jam while only allowing one run, but it could have been much worse. The offense, on the other hand, nearly allowed Rays starter Tyler Glasnow to complete an immaculate inning; Glasnow threw eight consecutive strikes while striking out Eddie Julien and Alex Kirilloff and getting Royce Lewis in an 0-2 hole. Instead, Glasnow had to settle for striking out the side on 10 pitches.

The game remained 1-0 until the top of the third. Carlos Correa committed an error to begin the inning, allowing Randy Arozarena to reach. He advanced to second on a ground ball to the right side and to third base on a wild pitch. The Twins brought the infield in, and Jose Siri rocketed a ball past Correa to double the Rays’ lead.

The Twins finally threatened in the bottom of the frame. Ryan Jeffers coaxed a single up the middle, and with one out, Julien walked to put runners on first and second. Kirilloff was jammed and popped out to deep shortstop, however, and Jeffers somehow came too far off the bag and was doubled off of second, ending the inning.

In the bottom of the fourth, Max Kepler stayed hot, crushing the first pitch he saw to right field to cut the deficit in half.

Gray came out after four innings with a pitch count of 89, and things unraveled quickly for Dylan Floro. After striking out Arozarena, Josh Lowe hit a high-bouncer to first base, sending Kirilloff all the way to the edge of the grass. He elected to try to shovel the ball to Floro covering, and Lowe beat it out. Floro then hit Siri in the hand with a pitch, struck out former Twins’ farmhand Luke Raley and had Taylor Walls down 0-2 before Walls smacked an elevated fastball over the tall wall in right-center to extend the Rays’ lead to 5-1. The Rays scored two more against Brent Headrick in the sixth, and the Twins were suddenly in a 7-1 hole.

Julien and Kirilloff hit back-to-back singles in the bottom of the inning before Royce Lewis stroked a line drive over the fence in left, making it a 7-4 game.

The Twins couldn’t muster multiple baserunners at the same time over the final three-plus innings and largely went down with a whimper as the score remained the same until Ryan Jeffers lined out to right-center to end the game.


  • Gray was simply not sharp in this game. He only walked one batter, but he hit Raley twice and when he was hit, he was hit hard. One of his two runs allowed was unearned, thanks to the Correa error to lead off the top of the third inning.
  • Floro and Headrick were not good, but at least Josh Winder survived the final 1 23 innings without Rocco Baldelli needing to dip into his bullpen any further.
  • The Twins only had six hits in the game, and half of them were between Royce Lewis and Max Kepler combined.
  • Twins pitchers picked off two Rays runners on the basepaths, so that was weird.


  • Max Kepler: 2-for-3, RBI, R, BB
  • Royce Lewis: 1-for-4, 3 RBI, HR
  • Eddie Julien: 1-for-2, BB


  • Dylan Floro: 1 IP, 3 ER, 2 H, BB, 2 K
  • Brent Headrick: 2 13 IP, 2 ER, 4 H, K