Yandy Diaz collected four hits, including a home run, and Taylor Walls added a three-run shot on Monday to help power the Tampa Bay Rays to a 7-4 win over the Minnesota Twins in Minneapolis.
Josh Lowe chipped in with three hits and an RBI as the Rays (89-56) took the series opener against the Twins (75-69) in a battle of teams in playoff pursuit. Tampa Bay earned its fourth win in a row, while Minnesota dropped its second straight game.
Backed by early run support, Rays starter Tyler Glasnow (9-5) gave up four runs on six hits in six innings. He struck out eight and walked two. Pete Fairbanks worked a scoreless ninth inning for his 23rd save.
Max Kepler and Royce Lewis homered for the Twins.
Tampa Bay ran up the pitch count on Twins right-hander Sonny Gray (7-7), who gave up two runs (one earned) on six hits in four innings. He walked one and fanned five while throwing 89 pitches.
In the first inning, Diaz hit a leadoff single. A one-out single by Randy Arozarena put runners on the corners, and Lowe’s RBI single opened the scoring.
Tampa Bay added an unearned run in the third inning. Arozarena reached on shortstop Carlos Correa’s error, and with one out, Jose Siri drove him in with a single.
In the fourth inning, the Twins got on the board. With one out, Kepler connected for a solo homer.
The Rays responded in the fifth inning off reliever Dylan Floro. Lowe reached on a one-out infield single, beating Floro to first on a grounder to first. Siri was hit by a pitch on his right hand, and initially stayed in the game, putting runners on first and second. With two outs, Walls laced a three-run home run, breaking open a 5-1 Tampa Bay advantage.
With his hand ailing, Siri was replaced in the bottom of the fifth inning by Vidal Brujan, who came in to play right field. Lowe shifted to center.
In the sixth inning, the Rays did some more damage. Diaz led the inning off with a home run off Brent Headrick. A second run scored when Brujan bunted into a forceout, giving Tampa Bay a six-run advantage.
The Twins bounced back in the bottom of the sixth. After back-to-back singles by Edouard Julien and Alex Kirilloff, Lewis blistered a three-run home run, making it 7-4.