Santana allows 3 homers in Twins 7-4 loss to Rays
Jun. 05, 2016
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Too many runners left in scoring position. Too many home runs by the opposing team. It's becoming a familiar refrain for the Minnesota Twins.
Evan Longoria homered for the third straight game on Saturday, and the Twins couldn't get enough going against Matt Andriese in his rain-shortened start, losing to Tampa Bay 7-4.
The Rays have 79 homers on the year and entered the game third in that category in the American League. Not exactly a good matchup for the Twins, who've now given up 78 homers this season — second-most in the majors.
"It's difficult because every mistake you make, they're going to be swinging," said Twins starter Ervin Santana (1-5). "It's going to be hard for us, and you can tell by the way they were swinging today."
Longoria's fifth-inning home run was the second of three off Santana. Steven Souza Jr.'s three-run shot in the fourth put the Rays ahead for good, and Logan Morrison's two-run homer in the seventh against Michael Tonkin put the game out of reach. Even Hank Conger — who came in hitting .188 with one homer — had a solo shot in the third.
Santana looked sharp early before Souza's two-out homer with runners on the corners. Minnesota was leading 3-1 when Souza sent a high slider from Santana an estimated 405 feet into the left-field seats.
"He did give up the three home runs, but the difference in the game is we gave up two two-out, two-strike home runs with a chance to get off the field," manager Paul Molitor said.
Going 5 for 14 with runners in scoring position — four of them with two outs — and leaving eight men on base didn't help.
Brian Dozier drove in a pair of runs for the last-place Twins, and Eduardo Nunez also had two hits and scored two runs. Santana worked six innings and allowed five runs off six hits and three walks. Joe Mauer had an RBI single off Alex Colome in the ninth after Tyler Sturdevant allowed two batters to reach with two outs. Colome, who picked up his 14th save, ended any hope of a rally by striking out Dozier.
"It's just a tough way to play when you're always hoping for that comeback late," Molitor said. "But if you look at positives, guys are still playing late into the games. It'd be a lot better playing from ahead."
Andriese (4-0) allowed three runs, one unearned, off eight hits through five innings — his shortest start this season, thanks in part to a 70-minute rain delay in the sixth. He nearly gave the lead right back after Souza's homer in the bottom half of the inning, but worked out of a bases-loaded jam by inducing Nunez into a double play.
CF Byron Buxton went 2 for 4 and extended his hit streak to six games. He's hitting .333 (8-for-24) with two doubles and triple during the streak, but Molitor remains cautious in evaluating his prized prospect.
"Overall, I think he's looking like a better hitter so far. Still early," the manager said.
The Twins held a moment of silence for Muhammad Ali before the game. Earlier in the morning, Molitor told reporters he met the boxing great only once — during 1992's Super Bowl XXVI in Minneapolis. "No real interaction other than the pleasure of saying I got to shake a legend's hand," the Hall of Famer said.
Twins: GM Terry Ryan said closer Glen Perkins (shoulder) did well throwing a bullpen session before the game. "So far, so good," Ryan said, adding Perkins would throw another session Tuesday. "It's a good sight," Molitor said to reporters while watching a live video feed of Perkins' session from his clubhouse office. ... Ryan said pitching prospect Alex Meyer was headed to the DL Saturday with shoulder inflammation. Meyer hasn't pitched since being optioned to Triple-A Rochester last month and is seeking a second opinion on his injury.
Rays: LHP Drew Smyly (2-7) will try to end his three-game losing streak in Sunday's series finale against the Twins. Smyly is 2-1 with a 2.41 ERA in 15 games against Minnesota.
Twins: RHP Tyler Duffey (2-4) makes his eighth start of the season in Sunday's finale. Duffey threw only 4 2/3 innings — his shortest start of the season — and allowed five runs off 10 hits in his previous start, May 31 in Oakland.