Thome Makes History, Bullpen Wastes Liriano's Strong Outing

Jim Thome made history, but the Rays ruined the day with seven runs in the eighth inning.

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Rays Rally, Beat Twins 8-6

(Sports Network) – Matt Joyce’s pinch-hit grand slam put the finishing touches on Tampa Bay’s seven-run eighth inning, highlighting an 8-6 comeback win over Minnesota in the continuation of a four-game series.

The Rays, who split the first two in this set, were stymied by Francisco Liriano through seven innings before rallying against the Twins’ bullpen.

Carl Crawford, Evan Longoria and Willy Aybar each drove in a run during the game-shifting eighth. Crawford finished 2-for-5 with a pair of RBI in the win, which was credited to Randy Choate (1-2) for throwing a scoreless home seven.

The turnaround took Wade Davis off the hook after the starter surrendered four runs on eight hits in 4 1/3 innings.

Liriano threw seven innings of one-run ball but did not factor in the decision despite striking out 10 and allowing just four hits and a walk for the Twins, who had won three of four coming in.

Minnesota’s Jim Thome went 3-for-4 with three RBI and hit a pair of home runs, the second moving him past Twins great Harmon Killebrew into sole possession of 10th place on the all-time home run list with 574.

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Jim Thome Moves Up The All-Time Homerun List

With two homeruns in today’s game, slugger Jim Thome has now belted 10 this season with the Twins and sits alone at No. 10 on the all-time homerun list. His first homerun of the day pushed him into a tie with Twins’ Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew, and his second pushed him into a spot by himself.

Courtesy of 1500ESPN.com, Harmon Killebrew shares some thoughts:

“Good for him. He’s a good guy. I talked to Jim quite a bit when I was in spring training. I told him, ’Don’t feel bad if you pass me up, because I passed up a lot of guys in my career.’”

“Jim is a credit to baseball, and a credit to the teams he’s played for,” Killebrew told 1500 ESPN. “I just wish we had gotten him when he went to the White Sox. We might’ve won a World Series if that had happened.”

Thome has been exactly what the Twins were hoping to get when they added him this past off-season, and now fans are seeing history along the way too.

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