Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Blake Snell did not make the All-Star Game. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

Rays Look to Bounce Back After Winning Streak Snapped

The Tampa Bay Rays suffered from some rainy-day blues last night, taking the loss against the Minnesota Twins on soaked Thursday night.

After a two-hour rain delay pushed the game back, the Rays couldn’t extend their five-game win streak, falling to the Twins 5-1 in game one of a four game series.

With the Rays falling farther and farther behind the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox, Tampa Bay must play better tonight in game two to regain momentum heading into the All-Star Break.

Last Night’s Recap

After waiting two hours to begin the series, the Rays sent ace Blake Snell to the mound to extend their five-game win streak in the Twin City. However, Kyle Gibson and the Minnesota Twins had other ideas.

The Minnesota righty bested Snell and the Rays, cruising through eight innings while striking out nine. The only run given up by Gibson came from a Kevin Kiermaier sac fly in the eight inning.

On the other hand, Snell struggled to find the zone, giving up three earned runs and walking three in a season-low three innings pitched.

The scoring started for the Twins in the second inning when Max Kepler scored from third following a Bobby Wilson double-play groundout. The Twins put up two more runs in the bottom of the third inning after back-to-back RBI doubles by Robbie Grossman and Jorge Polanco, marking the end to Snell’s day.

Minnesota put up two more runs after Eddie Rosario blasted a two-run homerun to right in the seventh inning.

Following the Kiermaier sac-fly in the eighth to avoid the shutout for the Rays, Twins closer Fernando Rodney finished off the Tampa Bay batters in the ninth to notch his 21st save of the season.

With the loss, the Rays record falls to 48-45 on the season and drop back farther behind the first place Boston Red Sox in the AL East.

The Twins, while winning seven of their last eight games, still have a losing record of 42-49. However, they still are good enough for 2nd in the AL Central, 7.5 games back of the first place Cleveland Indians.

Who to Watch for Game Two

For the Rays, pitcher Nathan Eovaldi will look to continue his recent success on the mound. While owing only a 3-3 record, Eovaldi was stellar in his last start. Against the New York Mets, Eovaldi threw seven scoreless innings while giving up a mere one hit and striking out nine.

All-Star catcher Wilson Ramos is also somebody to watch for Tampa Bay. With two hits last night to add to his resume, Ramos has been on a tear all season, hitting .295 with 14 homeruns and 51 RBIs.

For the Twins, former Rays pitcher Jake Odorizzi will take the mound. This will be Odorizzi’s first time squaring off against his former team since he was traded back in February.

The Twin’s righty is 4-6 on the season with a 4.28 ERA, but he threw six scoreless innings in a winning performance in his last start against the Baltimore Orioles.

Where to Catch the Game

WRUF will have live coverage of the game tonight, which takes place at Target Field in Minneapolis, starting at 7:30.

About Jonathan Santos

Jonathan is a sports journalism student at the University of Florida. He enjoys videography, editing, photography, and writing.

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