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(Thursday, April 24th)
Final Score: Minnesota 9, Tampa Bay 7
St. Petersburg, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Aaron Hicks hit a three-run homer and Kurt Suzuki also knocked in three runs as Minnesota upended Tampa Bay, 9-7, in the rubber match of a three-game set.
Sam Fuld finished 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles and drove in two for the Twins, winners in five of their last eight overall.
Ricky Nolasco (2-2) won despite giving up six runs on 10 hits and two walks over six-plus innings. Glen Perkins tossed a scoreless ninth for his fifth save.
"He gave us everything he had," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said of Nolasco. "Pretty good performance, really, against this ballclub, in this ballpark."
David DeJesus slugged a two-run shot and James Loney added two RBI for the Rays, who have lost seven of their last 10. Desmond Jennings and Matt Joyce also knocked in a run apiece in defeat.
Erik Bedard (0-1) was knocked out after four frames, having allowed five hits and four runs with five walks.
Tampa was down six in the bottom of the sixth but began a comeback when Joyce kicked off the inning with a double and scored two batters later on a Loney single.
It was 9-6 in the seventh after a Jennings sacrifice fly with the bases loaded scored Yunel Escobar and Joyce added another sac fly to plate Jose Molina.
The hosts crept within 9-7 in the eighth. DeJesus and Escobar worked consecutive two-out walks off Jared Burton and pinch-hitter Logan Forsythe delivered DeJesus to the plate with a base hit to center. Burton recovered after a Ben Zobrist single loaded the bases to retire Jennings on a pop to first.
Perkins had it easier in the ninth, fanning two and setting down the side in order.
The Twins reached Bedard with three runs in the first. He loaded the bases on walks to Brian Dozier, Joe Mauer and Josmil Pinto, then allowed Suzuki's two- run single and an RBI double from Fuld.
"I couldn't really throw strikes in the first inning," Bedard admitted. "I was just trying to battle and throw it in the strike zone, but I had a couple of walks in the first and I got better as the game progressed."
Trevor Plouffe singled home Dozier to give the visitors a 4-0 edge in the second, but Tampa struck back with three on Loney's RBI double and DeJesus' two-run shot to right.
Minnesota went up 8-3 in the fifth after an RBI double from Fuld followed by a three-run blast from Hicks, then picked up another run in the following frame as Plouffe hit a leadoff double and later scored on a single from Suzuki.
The Twins recorded their first road series win against the Rays since Sept. 4-6, 2006 ... Dozier finished with three walks and two runs scored ... Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire recorded his 1,009th career victory, moving him into 58th place on the all-time list, ahead of Chuck Dressen ... Hicks' last home run came on July 14, 2013, against CC Sabathia of the Yankees ... Both teams are in action on Friday, as the Twins return home to host Detroit and the Rays begin a 10-game road trip in Chicago against the White Sox.
04/24 21:14:12 ET
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