St. Petersburg, FL – Chris Archer pitched six solid innings and the Tampa Bay Rays defeated the Minnesota Twins, 4-1, in the second game of a four-game series at Tropicana Field.
Archer (3-3) allowed just one unearned run on three hits and struck out two. He has not lost a decision since June 18 against the Red Sox. Fernando Rodney pitched a scoreless ninth to notch his 21st save.
Matt Joyce and Kelly Johnson drove in two runs apiece for the Rays, who have won a season-high tying six straight and 10 of their last 11 games.
Ryan Doumit drove in the lone run for the Twins, who have lost nine of their last 10 games. Starter Kyle Gibson (1-2) gave up all four runs on four hits and four walks over six frames.
Desmond Jennings and Luke Scott drew walks to start the fourth and both advanced on a wild pitch by Gibson. Following a strikeout by Evan Longoria, James Loney walked to load the bases.
Joyce's base hit up the middle plated Jennings and Scott, while Johnson brought Loney and Joyce home with a double to center.
"I really believe when you accept your walks and don't strike out, anyone can score," said Rays manager Joe Maddon. "I just like the concept of unselfish at-bats. It's not about getting hits, it's about not getting out."
Minnesota got on the board in the sixth. Brian Dozier was hit by a pitch to start the inning, reached third on a throwing error by Archer and scored on a sacrifice fly by Doumit.
However, that would be it for the Twins, who registered three hits in the first two innings but none after until Joe Mauer and Doumit hit back-to-back singles to begin the ninth. Rodney struck out the next three batters to end the game.
"We hit balls around the screws. We hit balls as hard as we could ... put real good swings on the ball," said Twins manager Ron Gardenhire. "We were taking our swings, we had quality at-bats. Just didn't have it tonight."
The Twins will place reliever Caleb Thielbar on the bereavement list on Thursday, as he will be headed to Minnesota for funeral services of his grandmother. They will call up pitcher Michael Tonkin from Triple-A Rochester ... Prior to Archer's error, the Rays had not committed one in nine games, one shy of the club record. Their last error came from Jennings in the eighth inning on June 29 against the Tigers ... Rodney has converted his last 12 save opportunities since May 27 against the Marlins. He has allowed just six hits and has 17 strikeouts over 11 innings.