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Rays lose again, 9-7 to Twins



   What started out as a bad afternoon didn't end any better for the Rays despite some momentary glimpses of hope as they lost to the Twins 9-7 before heading out for a 10-game, three-city road trip.

   Erik Bedard put the Rays is a large hole early, allowing three runs in an ugly 41 -pitch first inning and another in a sloppy second. He then settled in for a couple innings as the Rays closed to 4-3 on a David DeJesus homer.

    But Reliever Heath Bell, the first man out of the Rays beleaguered bullpen, and he had a rough day as well, allowing five runs while unable to finish his second inning.

   Down 9-3, the Rays closed the gap again, getting to 9-6 after a two-run rally in the seventh sparked by catcher Jose Molina's hustle in tagging up twice, then to 9-7 with the bases loaded in the eighth, but Desmond Jennings swung at and popped up the first pitch and they got no closer.

   Jennings made a spectacular running catch just in front of the centerfield wall in the ninth.

  Manager Joe Maddon said Wednesday that Bedard was not pitching to keep his spot in the rotation, but they may revisit that thought after his Thursday performance.

   Bedard walked the first two Twins, then after getting two outs, allowed the next four to reach - walk, RBI single, RBI double, walk. He then started the second by allowing the first three Twins to get on base, meaning that nine of the first 12 had reached.

   That Bedard was able to pitch four innings made his outing somewhat successful, as the Rays bullpen was worn down from covering 8 2/3 innings on Wednesday.


   The Rays left after the game for Chicago, where they play four games against the White Sox before heading to Boston and then New York.




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