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Twins Vs. Rays Final Score: Minnesota Stifled By Tampa Bay Starter James Shields In 4-1 Defeat

The Minnesota Twins dropped to a frustrating 5-10 on the season on Saturday night in Florida, as Tampa Bay and pitcher James Shields walked away with a convincing 4-1 victory.

Minnesota starter Carl Pavano did manage to pitch six strong innings, and did not walk his first batter until the sixth inning (finished with two walks). Pavano ended the night with seven strikeouts and two earned runs allowed, but had no chance for a victory due to the Twins' lackluster offense.

Shields, who pitched 8.0 innings with seven strikeouts and only five hits, was the real story, as he continually frustrated Minnesota hitters with impressive movement on his pitches. First baseman Joe Mauer picked up a pair of hits for the Twins, but a Ryan Doumit sacrifice in the ninth was the team's only bright spot offensively of the night.

Outfielder Josh Willingham extended his hitting streak to 15 games with a single in his final at bat, and will go for 16 against Tampa Bay's Josh Neimann in Sunday's series finale. The Twins will send the often-erratic Francisco Liriano to the hill on Sunday with a chance to win the three-game series.

For more on the Twins, head over to Twinkie Town. For more MLB news and analysis, check out Baseball Nation.

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