The Tampa Bay Rays opened their series in Minnesota on Friday night with a 12-6 win over the Twins. The Rays pounced on Minnesota starter Cole De Vries by putting up eight runs in the first two innings. They would add another big four-run rally later in the game but the huge second inning provided a cushion for Jeremy Hellickson and the bullpen that would not be surrendered.
Matt Joyce did a lot of the damage in the first two innings, accounting for four of the eight runs. He ripped a two-run homer over the right field wall in the top of the first and then followed that up with a two-run double one inning later. The second inning featured six runs and six hits. The Rays drilled four hits and plated three runs before De Vries could even retire a batter. Jose Molina knocked in two with single to the gap in right center. The Rays catcher finished with three RBIs on the night, just behind Joyce, whose double finally chased De Vries.
The big lead allowed Hellickson to settle in and just try and throw strikes. He avoided the big inning, allowing just one run in the third and the fourth. The work brought his record to and even 7-7 for the season.
Tampa will try to clinch the series on Saturday with David Price going for his 15th win of the season.