Minneapolis, MN – Jeff Keppinger's go-ahead RBI groundout highlighted a four-run top of the 10th inning and helped the Tampa Bay Rays win their sixth straight contest, a 7-3 triumph over the Minnesota Twins in the finale of a three-game set.
Desmond Jennings singled off Alex Burnett (4-4) to begin the 10th and stole second before B.J. Upton walked. Ben Zobrist bunted both runners over and Evan Longoria was intentionally walked to load the bases.
Jennings came home when Keppinger grounded out to shortstop. After Carlos Pena was hit by a pitch to again load the bags, Ryan Roberts shot a single through the hole on the right side, plating Upton and Longoria. Coming on to pinch-hit for Sean Rodriguez, Matt Joyce ripped a double into right-center to push across Pena for a 7-3 Rays advantage.
Kyle Farnsworth (1-3) fired a scoreless ninth to pick up the win and Fernando Rodney picked up the final out in the 10th to notch his 36th save of the year.
"I do believe that's the sign of a good ball club," said Joe Maddon about his team winning in extra innings on the road.
Rays starter James Shields surrendered three runs -- two earned -- on five hits and a walk in seven innings, while Twins starter Scott Diamond also went seven frames, allowing three runs on eight hits and two walks.
"He competed, he didn't have his best pitches out there today. He made a lot of good pitches when he had to, kept us in the ballgame," said Twins manager Ron Gardenhire of Diamond.
The Twins have dropped four in a row.
Jennings tallied two hits, including a leadoff homer into the seats in left, and Keppinger opened the second with a towering blast into the first couple rows of seats in left, giving the Rays a 2-0 advantage.
Minnesota, though, tied the contest in the home half when Justin Morneau mashed a two-run shot onto the concourse in right and took the lead, 3-2, after Joe Mauer ripped a two-out RBI single to left in the third.
Tampa Bay knotted the game again in the fifth as back-to-back doubles by Roberts and Rodriguez to open the frame made it 3-3.
Minnesota was 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position and left 10 men on base, while Tampa Bay finished 3-for-10 with RISP and stranded eight...Morneau's homer was his 16th of the year.