Twins break losing streak

Published 12:09 am Monday, September 16, 2013

MINNEAPOLIS — After four straight losses that included consecutive shutouts, Minnesota Twins manager Ron Gardenhire just wanted to see his team put up a fight in Sunday’s series finale against the Tampa Bay Rays.

Minnesota’s come-from-behind victory was a bonus.

Ryan Doumit and Josmil Pinto homered off reliever Joel Peralta in a four-run eighth inning, and the Twins ended a 25-inning scoreless streak in a 6-4 win.

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Minnesota had lost the previous four games by a combined 38-5, including a 7-0 defeat Saturday that was interrupted by a rain delay of more than two hours.

“That long night last night, we talked about, are we really getting after it?” Gardenhire said. “And today I thought we really got after it. In the dugout, on the bench, it was going along pretty good. I was happy with the way things went, and to come back and win the ballgame adds to it.”

Tampa Bay, which had won its previous three games, wasted a 3-0 lead and a solid start from David Price, who gave up two runs, six hits and three walks in 6 1-3 innings. Overall, the Rays had won 11 straight against Minnesota.

Price loaded the bases on two walks and a single in the seventh, and Jake McGee relieved.

The left-handed had a 1-2 count on Chris Parmelee, who singled sharply to left-center on a 97 mph fastball to cut the deficit to one run.

“We definitely didn’t want to get swept,” Parmelee said.

Peralta (2-8) got the first two outs in the eighth before surrendering a long solo home run to Doumit, a sharp single to Trevor Plouffe and a walk to Josh Willingham. That set the stage for Pinto, called up from Triple-A Rochester and catching because Joe Mauer is on the disabled list with a concussion.

Pinto sent an 0-1 pitch into the Rays bullpen in center for a three-run homer, the second home run of the rookie’s big league career.

“Both splits, hanging,” Peralta said of the homers. “It didn’t work out. They didn’t do what they were supposed to do, so you pay for it.”

Peralta, who has made a team-high 73rd appearances, blew a save for the third time in four chances.

“I’ll take Peralta any day,” Price said. “I don’t care what the score is, how many runs there are. That guy has been an absolute warrior for us. It was just a tough loss.”

Casey Fien (5-2) earned the win after retiring pinch-hitter David DeJesus on a bases-loaded flyout that ended the eighth inning. Glen Perkins pitched a perfect ninth for his 35th save in 39 chances.

“Our bullpen did a nice job. Our starter hung in there,” Gardenhire said. “Damage control: We didn’t let it get too far out of whack.”

Twins starter Pedro Hernandez gave up three runs, four hits and four walks in five innings, allowing home runs to Wil Myers and Sean Rodriguez.

Myers’ two-run homer in the fourth landed in the second deck in left and was estimated at 440 feet.

“That has to be the longest homer I’ve seen all year,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said.

NOTES: Twins All-Star C Joe Mauer (concussion) will not make the team’s upcoming trip to Chicago. He hasn’t played since Aug. 19. … The Rays are 12-4 at Target Field after going 17-31 at the Metrodome. … Alex Cobb (8-3) starts for the Rays on Monday against former teammate Matt Garza (9-5). … The Twins begin a three-game series against the Chicago White Sox. Liam Hendriks (1-2) will start for Minnesota against Erik Johnson (0-2).