ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Yonny Chirinos pitched well into the sixth inning, Harold Ramírez homered during a three-run fourth inning, and the MLB-best Tampa Bay Rays completed a three-game sweep by beating the AL Central-leading Minnesota Twins 4-2 on Thursday.
Chirinos (3-1), recalled from Triple-A Durham before the game, allowed one run and five hits over 5 2/3 innings in his first big-league appearance since April 29. Jason Adam, the third Rays reliever, worked the ninth to get his 10th save in 14 chances.
Tampa Bay is 29-6 at home, has won six in a row overall and is 46-19 on the season.
Carlos Correa, who returned Tuesday after missing three games after reaggravating plantar fasciitis in his left foot, and Michael A. Taylor homered for the Twins, who have lost a season-high five consecutive games.
The Twins lead their division despite falling under .500 at 31-32, and have scored a combined seven runs in the past six games.
Minnesota’s Bailey Ober (3-3) retired his first 11 batters, including six consecutive strikeouts in the second and third, before he lost the perfect game and lead in the span of three batters.
After Randy Arozarena walked with two outs in the fourth. Luke Raley had an RBI triple and Harold Ramírez hit a two-run shot on back-to-back pitches to put the Rays up 3-1.
The start of the fourth was delayed when Ober returned into the dugout after being inspected by the umpires. The right-hander gave up four runs, three hits and two walks over 5 1/3 innings.
Raley tripled for the second time in three games. His triple Tuesday was his first in the majors, coming in his 102nd game.
Tampa Bay went ahead 4-1 in the sixth when Wander Franco stole third and came home when reliever Griffin Jax stepped off the rubber and made an errant throw to third.
The Rays have stolen a team-record 31 consecutive bases without being caught.
Correa hit his seventh homer, a 107.4 mph, 406-foot drive to left, leading off the fourth. It was his first long ball since May 13.
Taylor had an eighth-inning solo shot off Colin Poche.
Twins DH Jorge Polanco experienced left hamstring tightness running to first base after his 107. 8 mph first-inning liner up the middle deflected off Chirinos and second base umpire Jeff Nelson before turning into a forceout at second. Donovan Solano replaced Polanco.
Rays: 1B Yandy Díaz (left hip flexor) was out of the lineup for the second straight day.
Twins: RHP Sonny Gray (4-1) and Toronto LHP Yusei Kikuchi (6-2) are Friday night’s starters.
Rays: RHP Tyler Glasnow (0-0) will make his third start after starting the season on the IL with a left oblique strain against Texas LHP Andrew Heaney (4-3) in the opener of a three-game series between the teams with the best two records in the American League.