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Zobrist Powers Rays Past Twins, 15-3, To Start Doubleheader

The Minnesota Twins' offense has scored more than five runs just one time this 2011 season. Today, Ben Zobrist of the Tampa Bay Rays almost doubled that. . .by himself.

Zobrist went 4-for-6 and drove in eight runs for the Rays as they absolutely obliterated the Twins by a score of 15-3 in the first game of a day-night doubleheader at Target Field on Thursday. Zobrist had an RBI single in the first and a three-run home run in the sixth, and then followed those up with 2-RBI doubles in the seventh and ninth innings.

Zobrist became the first player to drive in eight runs in a game since Adam Lind of the Toronto Blue Jays on August 31, 2009, and broke the team record that had previously been set by Carlos Pena in 2007.

There were very few positives to take out of this game for the Twins, which is what you would expect in a game where you lose 15-3. Nick Blackburn, Jim Hoey, Jose Mijares, and Dusty Hughes each allowed at least two runs for the Twins, with Blackburn being particularly awful, allowing eight runs (seven earned) in just 3.1 innings.

The lone bright spot for the Twins was outfielder Rene Tosoni, who got his first Major League start today after being called up to replace Delmon Young on the active roster. Tosoni played left field, and went 2-for-4 with an RBI in the first game.

The Twins and Rays will play the second half of their doubleheader tonight, with first pitch scheduled for 7:10 PM Central time. Jeff Niemann (0-3, 7.08 ERA) will pitch for the Rays, while Anthony Swarzak (0-0, 0.00) will get the call for Minnesota.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.