Tampa Bay Rays' 15th-inning blasts sink Minnesota Twins

By Brian Hall, The Sports Xchange
Tampa Bay Rays' Evan Longoria. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
Tampa Bay Rays' Evan Longoria. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

MINNEAPOLIS -- Evan Longoria came to bat for the eighth time Sunday in the 15th inning. The game was about six hours old, and the longtime Tampa Bay Rays star was, unexpectedly, facing a starting pitcher from the opposing team.

Only two days earlier, Minnesota Twins left-hander Hector Santiago started against Tampa Bay.


Longoria provided a big blow off Santiago in a long, unusual game.

Longoria and Logan Morrison hit back-to-back homers to open the 15th, and the Rays outlasted the Twins 8-6 on Sunday in the longest game in Target Field history.

"We're all just kind of swinging at that point, hoping that the guy makes a mistake," Longoria said. "When we faced him two days ago, he's around the plate, and the plan was to just go up there and be aggressive against him."


Longoria's seventh homer of the season came off the second pitch of the inning from Santiago (4-4), who is scheduled to start Wednesday for Minnesota. Morrison followed with a long homer to deep right field on the next pitch as Tampa Bay won for the second time in five extra-inning games this season.

"It's a tough situation," Santiago said. "One day off, I just threw 100 pitches. I just wanted to go out there and compete and try to keep it as close as I can. Felt good. I made a good pitch to Longo, he got on it."

The game equaled the Target Field record of 15 innings and set a record for time of game for the eight-season-old stadium at 6 hours, 26 minutes.

"We're just about picking each other up," said Rays outfielder Steven Souza, who had three hits and threw a runner out at home to keep the game tied in the ninth. "Somebody makes an error, pitchers picking each other up. Someone blows a lead, pick each other up. That's just really what we did today for six hours."

Alex Colome (1-2) earned the win despite giving up the tying run in the 14th inning. Colome pitched two innings and allowed two hits. The run he surrendered was unearned after Max Kepler reached on an error by center fielder Kevin Kiermaier.


Erasmo Ramirez earned his first save of the season with a scoreless inning. Ramirez is scheduled to start Monday in Texas, and manager Kevin Cash said the right-hander would still start.

The Rays won their fourth consecutive road series and are 8-3 in their past 11 road games after starting the season 3-10 away from Tropicana Field.

Santiago worked the 15th inning as the Twins' ninth pitcher of the game.

"A lot of guys stepped up and did a little bit more than you would expect in a normal situation," Minnesota manager Paul Molitor said. "Hector said he was good to go for an inning. We brought him in. We just couldn't contain at the end. They hit a couple balls over the fence. It's a tough loss, no question about that."

Corey Dickerson's fourth hit of the game gave Tampa Bay the lead in the 14th before pinch hitter Robbie Grossman replied with an RBI single in the bottom of the frame for Minnesota. However, the Twins left the bases loaded in the inning. They stranded 17 baserunners in the game and were 3-for-13 with runners in scoring position.


Tampa Bay left 18 runners on base and finished 4-for-14 with runners in scoring position.

"I guess if you can put a silver lining on it, if you can find ways to win games like this, it's going to be pretty good down the road," Longoria said. "A win is a win, and they don't all have to be pretty."

Joe Mauer had four hits and three walks for Minnesota.

"It's fun, I guess," Mauer said of his day. "It was good. I had some good at-bats and I was able to get on there. But just got off the field after a long day and wish it would have turned out different."

Mauer tied the game with a solo homer in the seventh, and Brian Dozier's RBI single in the eighth gave Minnesota its first lead of the game. Jorge Polanco's sacrifice fly later in the eighth put the Twins up 5-3.

The Rays scored two runs in the top of the ninth off Twins closer Brandon Kintzler.

Dickerson singled and scored on Longoria's RBI double. Longoria then scored on Souza's single to right field. Right fielder Max Kepler's throw home met Longoria at the plate, but Jason Castro's tag was late as the catcher had to grab the throw and come across to tag Longoria.


A video review upheld the call.

Ryan Pressly relieved closer Brandon Kintzler and struck out Tim Beckham to leave the bases loaded.

It was Kintzler's second blown save in 14 chances this season.

NOTES: Minnesota 3B Miguel Sano was out of the starting lineup for the second straight day as manager Paul Molitor tries to give the struggling slugger a break. Sano entered as a pinch hitter with the bases loaded in the 11th inning and struck out for the ninth straight at-bat. He is 1-for-16 in his past five games. ... Tampa Bay C Wilson Ramos (ACL surgery), SS Matt Duffy (Achilles surgery) and 2B Brad Miller (left abdominal strain) will take live batting practice in Port Charlotte, Fla., on Monday. The Tampa Bay Times reported that RHP Brad Boxberger (right flexor strain) would throw the batting practice. ... Tampa Bay continues its nine-game road trip Monday in Texas. ... The Twins host the Houston Astros on Monday. ... After the game, Minnesota placed RHP Justin Haley on the 10-day disabled list with right shoulder soreness. Haley allowed a run and four hits in 1 2/3 innings of relief Sunday. The Twins also optioned DH Kennys Vargas to Triple-A Rochester. Corresponding moves will be announced Monday.


Latest Headlines