MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Yandy Díaz connected for his 20th homer and finished with four hits, helping the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Minnesota Twins 7-4 on Monday night.
Josh Lowe had three hits for the second straight day as Tampa Bay won for the sixth time in seven games. The Rays (89-56) stayed three games back of AL East-leading Baltimore.
After Tyler Glasnow (9-5) departed, Kevin Kelly, Jake Diekman and Pete Fairbanks each pitched a hitless inning. Fairbanks worked the ninth for his 23rd save.
It was a costly win for Tampa Bay, which lost center fielder Jose Siri when he was hit in the fifth inning by a pitch from Dylan Floro. Siri, who has a career-high 25 homers and 56 RBIs this year, has a fractured right hand.
“We’ll see what the specialists say,” manager Kevin Cash said. “There’s some hope that maybe it’s a short stint, maybe three weeks of shutdown and it heals up quickly, but we won’t know anything for a while.”
“I just got to keep on working, so I can be in a quick return,” Siri said through a translator.
Max Kepler and Royce Lewis homered for the AL Central-leading Twins, who finished with six hits. Sonny Gray (7-7) was charged with two runs, one earned, and six hits in four innings.
Díaz hit a leadoff shot in the sixth, giving Tampa Bay a 6-1 lead. He hit a game-ending homer in Saturday’s 7-5 win over Seattle.
“He should be getting some MVP consideration the way he’s put together what he’s done offensively,” Cash said. “To hit (.324) and to have the home runs and (71) RBIs from the leadoff spot is pretty special.”
Díaz tied a career high with four hits after beginning the day with a .161 (10 for 62) batting average in his career against Minnesota.
“I feel good, so that I can finish strong and that I can help the team win as much as I can,” he said through a translator.
Taylor Walls lifted the Rays to a 5-1 lead in the fifth, hitting a three-run homer on an 0-2 pitch from Floro. It was his first homer since May 14 and No. 8 on the season.
Glasnow was charged with four runs in six innings. He struck out eight and walked two.
The right-hander was coming off a dominant performance against Boston, striking out 14 while pitching six innings of three-hit ball in a 3-1 victory.
“You’re not going to feel perfect all the time. I still felt fine, just not as good as last time I guess,” he said.
Kepler hit his 22nd homer in the fourth, and Lewis added a three-run shot in the sixth. It was Lewis’ 12th homer.
Gray struck out five and walked one, and his four innings matched his shortest outing of the season. He threw two wild pitches and hit Luke Raley twice.
“We played some good baseball recently and today, not that we couldn’t get anything rolling, we made some mistakes, we couldn’t capitalize on a couple of opportunities. But I think it’s a good day to forget,” Minnesota manager Rocco Baldelli said.
CLOSING ’EM OUT
Tampa Bay relievers have not allowed an earned run in the last 24 2/3 innings. The bullpen has posted an MLB-leading 1.04 ERA over its last 15 games since Aug. 26.
Rays: 3B Isaac Paredes missed his second straight game with a right hand contusion after being hit by a fastball Saturday. Cash is hopeful he can play Tuesday.
Tampa Bay RHP Zack Littell (3-5, 4.29 ERA) is scheduled to face Minnesota RHP Joe Ryan (10-9. 4.21 ERA) on Tuesday.
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