The Twins had one of their biggest blowout wins of the season on Saturday, a 12-0 defeat of the Tampa Bay Rays that makes up for the Twins’ 10-4 loss on Friday.
The Twins scored the 12 runs on 16 hits, eight of them extra-base hits, including home runs from Max Kepler, Luis Arraez, Brent Rooker and Ryan Jeffers.
Three Twins pitchers combined to three-hit the Rays. Starter Kenta Maeda picked up the win to improve to 6-4, while reliever, Ralph Garza Jr., a waiver pick up from Houston, pitched two scoreless innings, followed by a scoreless frame from Danny Coulombe.
Twins pitcher Charlie Barnes gets the ball Sunday in the rubber match.
-Twins left fielder, Brent Rooker, has busted out of a recent slump in a big way. He had two hits, including a home run, on Saturday, which followed a four-hit day on Friday. Over the two-day period, he is 6-for-9 with two home runs, four runs scored and four runs batted in.
-Rooker also made a diving grab in left field, which had TV broadcasters, Dick Bremer and Jim Kaat, recalling a similar catch made by former Twins outfielder, Bob Allison, during Game 2 of the 1965 World Series. Kaat also happened to be on the mound that day for the Twins.
-On Friday, the Rays raced out to a 5-0 lead and never looked back to win 10-4. Starter Michael Pineda exited early because of an injury and the bullpen wasn’t much help either. Reliever John Gant, who came to the Twins in the deal that sent J.A. Happ to St. Louis, got roughed up. He allowed five runs (three earned) over two innings with a walk, three strikeouts and he served up a home run.
-Ex-Twin Nelson Cruz made his return to Target Field on Friday. He was greeted warmly by fans, then later hit his 24th home run of the season. He has hit five home runs since joining the Rays at the end of July. That’s why they went out and got him.
-The Twins, as we know, aren’t going anywhere this season, but the Rays are. Despite Saturday’s loss, the Rays are 71-46 and have a four-game lead on the Boston Red Sox in the AL East. They are 24-11 since the end of June.