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Rays wait out rain to win second straight over Twins

The Rays’ Steven Souza Jr. is congratulated by third-base coach Charlie Montoyo after hitting a go-ahead three-run home run in the fourth inning.

Associated Press

The Rays’ Steven Souza Jr. is congratulated by third-base coach Charlie Montoyo after hitting a go-ahead three-run home run in the fourth inning.

MINNEAPOLIS — Steven Souza Jr. had the biggest hit for the Rays in Saturday's rain-interrupted 7-4 win over the Twins.

He got it by shortening up his swing.

"Obviously I haven't gotten some calls my way, and I'm chasing pitches out of the zone," he said. "So I'm just trying to figure out a way to make adjustments with two strikes. I figured I would choke up right there and try and just put the ball in play. And a good thing happened."

A very good thing, actually, the three-run homer on Ervin Santana's 2-and-2 pitch taking the Rays from trailing 3-1 to leading 4-3, and they added from there.

By the end of the long day, which included a 70-minute rain delay in the middle of the sixth, they had won a second straight, after losing five in a row and 11 of 13, to improve to 24-30.

All the runs came on home runs, with a two-run blast by Logan Morrison and solo shots by Hank Conger and Evan Longoria.

EVAN ALMIGHTY: Longoria homered for a team-high 12th time and in a third straight game, something he hadn't done since August 2013. During an eight-game hitting streak, he is 13-for-31 (.419) with four homers and 11 RBIs.

"He's locked in, and when a good hitter as good as he is gets locked in you're going to see that type of production," manager Kevin Cash said. "Believe me, we'll right it while he's hot because he's carrying a huge load. And it's very welcome."

As a side benefit, Cash said, "Longo is sticking himself right in the All-Star mix the way he's playing. Good for him, good for us."

TO THE MATT: RHP Matt Andriese didn't have top command of his pitches, which forced him to throw too many pitches, 92 over five innings.

The biggest, by far, came in the fourth, right after the Rays had gone ahead, when he had the bases loaded with one out and got Eduardo Nunez to bounce into a double play.

"That was a huge play," Andriese said. "I wouldn't say I was scuffling but I was trying to feel my way through that inning. I knew we needed a ground ball in that situation, and I made a pitch when I needed to. So that was clutch."

IN RELIEF: With Andriese limited to five innings due to the rain delay, LHP Enny Romero gave the Rays two strong innings, then rookie Tyler Sturdevant worked the eighth and into the ninth but couldn't get the last out, putting two on. Cash summoned RHP Alex Colome, who insisted he was available after throwing 34 pitches Friday in a five-out save, and he allowed an RBI single to Joe Mauer before striking out Brian Dozier to end it.

JONNY BE GOOD: LHP Jonny Venters, trying to come back from a third Tommy John surgery, threw a 24-pitch scoreless, hitless inning (two walks) for the advanced Class A Stone Crabs in his first regular-season game at any level since 2012.

MISCELLANY: C Hank Conger allowed three more stolen bases, having thrown out two of 20. … OF Brandon Guyer, in a 1-for-22 skid, got the day off, so Cash slid most of the hitters up a spot, with Longoria hitting second for the 14th time in his career and first since May 2014.

Rays wait out rain to win second straight over Twins 06/04/16 [Last modified: Saturday, June 4, 2016 11:08pm]
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