Rays flash leather, then walk off Twins

Tribune Content Agency

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Rays won Wednesday’s game over the Twins 2-1 when Randy Arozarena hit a walkoff homer to open the ninth.

They were in position to win after Jason Adam let the lead get away in the ninth as Isaac Paredes, Taylor Walls and Luke Raley combined on a tremendous 5-4-3 double play.

With the win, the Rays improved their majors-best record to 45-19; the American League Central-leading Twins dropped to 31-31.

The Rays took the lead when Paredes led off the second with a home run, their majors-leading 106th of the season. It was the 11th of the season for Paredes.

They had a chance to make that stand up with a solid group effort on the mound.

Shawn Armstrong, who made an impressive season debut Sunday in Boston in returning from a neck issue, was the opener Wednesday and worked two solid innings, allowing one hit.

Cooper Criswell, called back from Triple-A with Josh Fleming going on the injury list, worked 3⅓, allowing one hit and two walks. Kevin Kelly finished the sixth, walking one then striking out the next two.

Robert Stephenson, a veteran right-hander acquired last week from Pittsburgh, handled the Twins in order in the seventh. Lefty Colin Poche did the same in the eighth.

That left it up to Jason Adam to get the last three outs.

He got the first one, but then walked Donovan Solano and and hit Max Kepler. Pinch-runner Michael A. Taylor stole third, and scored the tying run on a single by Royce Lewis. Adam then hit Willi Castro to load the bases.

That’s when the Rays turned the key double play. Paredes went down to field Ryan Jeffers’ hard grounder and threw from his knees to second. Taylor Walls worked around the hard-charging runner to make the relay to first, and Luke Raley made a long stretch for the final out.