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EX-FRIEND HELPS DOWN RAYS

Delmon Young drives in one run and scores the other for the Twins.

Manager Joe Maddon said former Ray Delmon Young is "turning into the baseball player he can be."

And during the past two games, the Twins leftfielder also has turned into a thorn in Tampa Bay's side.

Young tied Friday's game with adouble in the seventh and scored the go-ahead run to help Minnesota beat the Rays 2-1 at Target Field. That came one night after Young had two RBIs, including the tying homer, and an assist in the Rays' 10-inning win.

Young, 24, the No. 1 overall pick in 2003 by the Rays, was traded to the Twins after the 2007 season for starting pitcher Matt Garza and shortstop Jason Bartlett. But he has downplayed the significance of performing well against his former team.

The Rays' loss, which snapped their first two-game win streak in about a month, cost them a chance to pull within one game of the Yankees in the American League East.

It also spoiled another great outing by left-hander David Price. Price (11-4), who entered Friday's game leading the AL in wins and ERA, carried a no-hitter into the fifth inning. He finished giving up just two runs over eight innings and a season-high 122 pitches but was saddled with the loss.

The Rays (46-33) gave him an early lead, scoring in the first inning on consecutive doubles by Carl Crawford and Evan Longoria. But that's all they could muster against struggling right-hander Scott Baker, who had lost three of his previous four starts. Baker allowed just one run over seven innings, striking out eight and walking none.

Price's night was a little less smooth as he had to battle his way out of a couple of jams early on. In the first, he walked the first two batters but struck out Joe Mauer and got Justin Morneau to hit into a double play.

Then in the third, Price found himself in a tough spot with runners on second and third and one out, but shortstop Reid Brignac charged an Orlando Hudson grounder and threw out Danny Valencia at the plate. And when Mauer ripped a fly ball into left-center, centerfielder Ben Zobrist made a leaping catch on the run to thwart the threat.

But the Twins broke through with a two-out rally in the seventh. Jason Kubel started it with a single. Young then ripped adouble to left-center and moved to third on a throwing error by Brignac, who was trying to get Kubel at home. Valencia, who broke up Price's no-hitter, hit a single to center to score Young for the go-ahead run.

The Rays put together their own two-out rally in the eighth. Willy Aybar and pinch-hitter John Jaso reached on singles, and Tampa Bay had runners on second and third with two outs. But reliever Jesse Crain struck out Kelly Shoppach swinging to end the inning.

The Rays also put the tying run on second with two outs in the ninth, but Crawford grounded out to second to end the game.

As for Young, he just continued a strong first half of the season (nine homers, 54 RBIs), putting him on pace to have the best year of his career.

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