Sections

Weather Forecast

Close
Advertisement
Minnesota Twins' Delmon Young watches his sixth-inning RBI single off Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher James Shields during a baseball game Thursday in St. Petersburg, Fla. The Rays won 4-3. AP Photo/Chris O'Meara

Twins lose to Rays, Mauer heads to disabled list

Email Sign up for Breaking News Alerts
sports Bemidji, 56619
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- Johnny Damon circled the bases and disappeared into a pack of teammates waiting at home plate to celebrate Tampa Bay's first home win of the season.

Advertisement
Advertisement

The Rays rallied in dramatic fashion to beat the Minnesota Twins 4-3 in 10 innings Thursday night, scoring twice to tie it in the ninth and overcoming another deficit in the 10th to win on Damon's one-out, two-run homer that barely cleared the wall in right field to give the struggling defending AL East champions their third straight win.

"It's nice to see them celebrating. ... We needed something like that to really get us going," said manager Joe Maddon, whose sputtering offense entered the ninth with just four hits off Twins starter Carl Pavano. "The primary reason we've been struggling has been hitting. So when hitting comes through in the end like that to pick us up, that's nice."

Pavano pitched eight shutout innings, but was denied the victory when Minnesota closer Joe Nathan gave up a two-run double to Matt Joyce in the ninth.

The Twins regained the lead in the 10th on Danny Valencia's RBI single off Kyle Farnsworth (1-0), however once again the bullpen couldn't finish off the Rays.

Sam Fuld singled with one out in the Tampa Bay 10th off Matt Capps (1-1) and Damon -- settling into a role as the Rays' primary designated hitter following Manny Ramirez's sudden retirement -- followed with his third homer of the season, driving the ball into the first row of the right-field seats.

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire tried to keep the late collapse in perspective. Afterward, he also revealed the Twins have lost All-Star catcher Joe Mauer to the disabled list because of weakness in his legs.

"You just keep playing. It's part of the game. It does happen. Got two pretty good arms out there that can finish games and tonight it just didn't work out," Gardenhire said. "We've have to keep battling. We're doing better. We're swinging the bats. We had plenty of chances and we missed a lot of opportunities to score more runs. That's probably where the game was lost more than anything else."

A season-low crowd of 10,042 at Tropicana Field cheered Damon all around the bases. The Rays danced and pranced back to the clubhouse, where the celebration continued.

Moments after Damon's homer, the Twins announced that star catcher Joe Mauer was placed on the 15-day disabled list due to weakness in his legs.

Mauer had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee in the offseason. He had a very light workload during spring training to try and reduce the wear and tear on his legs and stay fresh for the rigors of catching an entire season.

"He's going to go fly to Baltimore (Friday) and see his doctor there, and then he'll head home to start rehab of getting his body and his legs in shape," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "I think they say it was bilateral leg weakness, which is causing all kinds of soreness. He's compensating because of the surgery he had this winter."

Gardenhire is not sure how long Mauer will be out.

"He's been, definitely, very sore over the last few days," Gardenhire said. "Shoulder. Elbow. Hips. I think it's just the legs are not strong enough underneath him. He says he feels terrible. We have to shut him down early in the season and try to get him well."

The three-time AL batting champion is hitting .235 with four RBIs in nine games this year. Earlier this season, Gardenhire said Mauer got banged up while blocking a lot of pitches in a game from Francisco Liriano.

Minnesota is recalling catcher Steve Holm from Triple-A Rochester to replace Mauer.

"You can't panic," Gardenhire said of the Twins, who are 4-8. "You can't worry about it. You just have to keep playing. Everybody would love to get off to a great start. You have to learn through those things and you just have to keep plugging away. I think we'll be fine."

Delmon Young and Drew Butera drove in sixth-inning runs for the Twins, seemingly supplying all the offensive support Pavano needed.

Felipe Lopez began Tampa Bay's ninth-inning rally with a one-out, bloop double off Nathan. Ben Zobrist then walked and Joyce drove his third hit of the game into the gap in right to tie it.

"A ball falls in on Joe and if that doesn't happen they've got two outs in the ninth," Capps said. "It's tough to do what they did with two quick outs right there. That changed the whole aspect of the ninth inning. I made a pitch on a Fuld and it found a hole. Same thing with Damon. I threw the ball where I wanted it to go and he put a good swing on it and got enough of it to end the ballgame."

NOTES

E Nathan has converted 3 of 4 save opportunities this season.

E Capps had a stretch of 12 straight successful save chances, dating back to Aug. 17 against the Chicago White Sox.

E Michael Cuddyer batted second in the Minnesota lineup for the first time since July 30, 2005.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- Johnny Damon circled the bases and disappeared into a pack of teammates waiting at home plate to celebrate Tampa Bay's first home win of the season.

The Rays rallied in dramatic fashion to beat the Minnesota Twins 4-3 in 10 innings Thursday night, scoring twice to tie it in the ninth and overcoming another deficit in the 10th to win on Damon's one-out, two-run homer that barely cleared the wall in right field to give the struggling defending AL East champions their third straight win.

"It's nice to see them celebrating. ... We needed something like that to really get us going," said manager Joe Maddon, whose sputtering offense entered the ninth with just four hits off Twins starter Carl Pavano. "The primary reason we've been struggling has been hitting. So when hitting comes through in the end like that to pick us up, that's nice."

Pavano pitched eight shutout innings, but was denied the victory when Minnesota closer Joe Nathan gave up a two-run double to Matt Joyce in the ninth.

The Twins regained the lead in the 10th on Danny Valencia's RBI single off Kyle Farnsworth (1-0), however once again the bullpen couldn't finish off the Rays.

Sam Fuld singled with one out in the Tampa Bay 10th off Matt Capps (1-1) and Damon -- settling into a role as the Rays' primary designated hitter following Manny Ramirez's sudden retirement -- followed with his third homer of the season, driving the ball into the first row of the right-field seats.

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire tried to keep the late collapse in perspective. Afterward, he also revealed the Twins have lost All-Star catcher Joe Mauer to the disabled list because of weakness in his legs.

"You just keep playing. It's part of the game. It does happen. Got two pretty good arms out there that can finish games and tonight it just didn't work out," Gardenhire said. "We've have to keep battling. We're doing better. We're swinging the bats. We had plenty of chances and we missed a lot of opportunities to score more runs. That's probably where the game was lost more than anything else."

A season-low crowd of 10,042 at Tropicana Field cheered Damon all around the bases. The Rays danced and pranced back to the clubhouse, where the celebration continued.

Moments after Damon's homer, the Twins announced that star catcher Joe Mauer was placed on the 15-day disabled list due to weakness in his legs.

Mauer had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee in the offseason. He had a very light workload during spring training to try and reduce the wear and tear on his legs and stay fresh for the rigors of catching an entire season.

"He's going to go fly to Baltimore (Friday) and see his doctor there, and then he'll head home to start rehab of getting his body and his legs in shape," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "I think they say it was bilateral leg weakness, which is causing all kinds of soreness. He's compensating because of the surgery he had this winter."

Gardenhire is not sure how long Mauer will be out.

"He's been, definitely, very sore over the last few days," Gardenhire said. "Shoulder. Elbow. Hips. I think it's just the legs are not strong enough underneath him. He says he feels terrible. We have to shut him down early in the season and try to get him well."

The three-time AL batting champion is hitting .235 with four RBIs in nine games this year. Earlier this season, Gardenhire said Mauer got banged up while blocking a lot of pitches in a game from Francisco Liriano.

Minnesota is recalling catcher Steve Holm from Triple-A Rochester to replace Mauer.

"You can't panic," Gardenhire said of the Twins, who are 4-8. "You can't worry about it. You just have to keep playing. Everybody would love to get off to a great start. You have to learn through those things and you just have to keep plugging away. I think we'll be fine."

Delmon Young and Drew Butera drove in sixth-inning runs for the Twins, seemingly supplying all the offensive support Pavano needed.

Felipe Lopez began Tampa Bay's ninth-inning rally with a one-out, bloop double off Nathan. Ben Zobrist then walked and Joyce drove his third hit of the game into the gap in right to tie it.

"A ball falls in on Joe and if that doesn't happen they've got two outs in the ninth," Capps said. "It's tough to do what they did with two quick outs right there. That changed the whole aspect of the ninth inning. I made a pitch on a Fuld and it found a hole. Same thing with Damon. I threw the ball where I wanted it to go and he put a good swing on it and got enough of it to end the ballgame."

NOTES

- Nathan has converted 3 of 4 save opportunities this season.

- Capps had a stretch of 12 straight successful save chances, dating back to Aug. 17 against the Chicago White Sox.

- Michael Cuddyer batted second in the Minnesota lineup for the first time since July 30, 2005.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
randomness