Twins Top Devil Rays 7-3
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) _ Jacque Jones hit a pair of solo homers and went 5-for-5 Tuesday night as the Minnesota Twins beat Tampa Bay 7-3 for their ninth straight victory over the Devil Rays.
Brad Radke (3-3), pitching while appealing a five-game suspension for his role in a beanball dustup with Tampa Bay last week, scattered seven hits over seven innings. He walked one and struck out six.
Jones equaled a career high with five hits and finished a triple shy of the cycle when he got an infield hit off Victor Zambrano in the ninth inning. Jones homered off Steve Parris (0-3) in the first and third, then singled in the fourth and doubled in the sixth off Nick Bierbrodt.
Duston Mohr and Torii Hunter each hit two-run homers for the Twins, who have won nine straight against Tampa Bay dating to April 25, 2002. Corey Koskie added an RBI single in the ninth.
Jones hit the 17th leadoff homer of his career on the third pitch of the game. He homered to nearly the same spot in right-center in the third against Parris, who allowed six runs on six hits in three innings.
Mohr hit a two-run homer off Parris in the second and Hunter added his two-run shot off the Devil Rays starter in the third to give the Twins a 6-0 lead.
Radke was suspended for five games for hitting Toby Hall with a pitch in the sixth inning of Minnesota’s 8-5 win over Tampa Bay last Wednesday night. The right-hander appealed, delaying any suspension until after a hearing with Bob DuPuy, baseball’s chief operating officer.
Bierbrodt, meanwhile, returned from the three-game suspension he received for throwing behind a batter in that game. He replaced Parris in the fourth and pitched three scoreless innings, allowing three hits and striking out two.
Radke limited the Devil Rays to two hits in the first five innings. Tampa Bay broke through for a pair of runs in the sixth after Rocco Baldelli, Aubrey Huff and Travis Lee singled to load the bases with no outs.
Baldelli scored when Al Martin grounded out and Huff came home on Hall’s sacrifice fly, trimming Minnesota’s lead to 6-2.
Rey Ordonez added an RBI double in the ninth for Tampa Bay.
Notes: Tampa Bay’s nine-game losing streak against the Twins is its longest current skid against any club. The franchise record for consecutive losses to one team is 11 against the Red Sox in 2001 and the Yankees in 1998 and ’99. ... Jones hit 11 leadoff homers last season. ... Parris has allowed 11 homers in 36 innings. ... The Devil Rays signed former Kansas City OF Mark Quinn to a minor league contract. He joined Triple-A Durham. ... The Twins have scored four or more runs in eight of their last 10 games. They are 7-1 in those eight games.