The Minnesota Twins' offense is, statistically, the worst in Major League Baseball in terms of runs scored. They failed to do anything to change that on Friday night as they fell to the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field by a score of 5-2.
Nick Blackburn (1-2, 3.06 ERA) looked pretty solid for the first five innings of this contest, but ran into trouble in the sixth, as the Rays were able to string together four straight hits, with last night's hero, Johnny Damon, lining a two-run single to center to bring home two runs. After Blackburn got the second out of the inning, a B.J. Upton double brought Damon home and gave the Rays a 3-1 lead after six innings.
The seventh inning didn't get any easier for Blackburn, as Dan Johnson singled to left, and Kelly Shoppach blasted a two-run home run to make the Rays' lead 5-1. Blackburn was pulled after that, having allowed five runs (all earned) on ten hits in six-plus innings.
The Twins' runs came in the top of the fifth on a double by Danny Valencia, and in the top of the ninth when Tampa Bay shortstop Reid Brignac's throwing error allowed Jason Kubel to come around and score. Outside of that, Wade Davis (1-2, 3.26) shut the Twins' offense down for most of the evening, allowing just one run and four hits in seven innings of work.
The loss drops the Twins' record to 4-9, and 2-6 on the road. The Rays are now 5-8 on the season, but have now won four consecutive ball games.
Tomorrow's start will be a bit earlier, as first pitch is scheduled for 3:10 PM Central time. Scott Baker (0-2, 6.55) will attempt to stop the bleeding for Minnesota, and the Rays will send right-hander Jeff Niemann (0-2, 8.31) to the mound to counter.