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Back-to-back homers lead Rays over Twins in 15 innings

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Evan Longoria and Logan Morrison hit back-to-back homers in the 15th inning, Steven Souza Jr. drove in the tying run with a single with two outs in the ninth, and the Tampa Bay Rays outlasted the Minnesota Twins 8-6 Sunday in a game that took nearly 6 1/2 hours.

At 6 hours, 26 minutes, it was the longest game in the eight-season history of Target Field. The longest game in Twins history lasted 6:36, a 17-inning marathon at Cleveland in 1995.

Minnesota resorted to using Wednesday’s scheduled starter, Hector Santiago (4-4), in the 15th. He allowed the decisive home runs on consecutive pitches to the first two batters of the inning. Longoria has 16 home runs and 57 RBI in 58 career games against the Twins.

Erasmo Ramirez, the scheduled starter Monday for the Rays, pitched a perfect 15th for his first save.

The Rays took the lead in the 14th when Corey Dickerson delivered a single off Justin Haley to make it 6-5. Pinch-hitter Robbie Grossman answered with an RBI single in the bottom half to extend the game for the Twins.

Despite allowing a run in the 14th, Alex Colome (1-2) got the win.

The Twins had a 5-3 lead in the ninth, but Tampa Bay rallied against Brandon Kintzler on an RBI double by Longoria and Souza’s tying single. Longoria slid home in a close play, and a video review upheld the call.

Corey Dickerson had four hits for the Twins, Souza got three hits and Longoria snapped an 0-for-12 slump with his ninth-inning double.

Joe Mauer got four hits for the Twins, including a home run, and drew three walks. It was the first time he had ever reached base seven times in a game.

Twins starter Kyle Gibson gave up two earned runs in 5 1/3 innings. Alex Cobb allowed one run, but only lasted five innings in his shortest start since April 26 for the Rays.


Rays: C Wilson Ramos (knee) is nearing the date when he is eligible to be activated from the 60-day disabled list following his recovery from an ACL tear. Ramos, a former member of the Twins and Nationals organizations, will be headed to Class A Charlotte with several rehabbing teammates on Monday to take live batting practice. He can be activated as early as June 1.

Twins: Manager Paul Molitor insisted slugger Miguel Sano is OK physically despite being absent from the starting lineup for a second consecutive day. Sano pinch-hit in the 11th inning and struck out, then batted again in the 14th and singled.


Rays: The team’s nine-game road trip continues at Texas on Monday. Ramirez was scheduled to make his fourth start of the season. LHP Martin Perez (2-5) will pitch for the Rangers.

Twins: The AL Central leaders will welcome Houston, which has the best record in the majors, for a three-game series beginning on Memorial Day. RHP Ervin Santana (7-2) takes the mound against RHP Brad Peacock (2-0) as the Twins’ ace looks to duplicate his last start, a complete-game shutout at Baltimore.

Republished with permission from the Associated Press.

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