By: Sam Ekstrom | KFAN.com
The All-Star Break can’t come soon enough for the Minnesota Twins.
Matt Moore (13-3) struck out 10 and only allowed three hits in seven and one-third innings, while the Rays used a pair of sixth inning home runs to beat the Twins 4-3 and earn a four-game sweep.
Luke Scott and Evan Longoria hit back-to-back solo home runs against Twins’ starter Mike Pelfrey (4-7) to break a 1-1 tie in sixth inning, which served as enough insurance on an afternoon when Moore was fabulous.
It took the Twins five and two-thirds innings to muster their first hit against the Rays’ lefty. Brian Dozier doubled and Jamey Carroll singled to drive in Minnesota’s first run, tying the game for a few moments before Scott and Longoria broke it open.
Pelfrey gutted through six innings for the Twins one day after the bullpen was taxed in a 13-inning loss. Pelfrey allowed eight hits and three runs for his second straight quality start since coming off the disabled list.
Reliever Josh Roenicke continued to struggle as he let in another run in the bottom of the seventh. Wil Myers drove in his second run of the game with a single to center field off Roenicke, giving Tampa Bay a 4-1 lead. Roenicke now has an 8.53 ERA since June 21.
The Twins made it interesting after a Joe Mauer two-run single in the eighth, capping a six-hit series for the catcher, but Trevor Plouffe struck out with two men aboard to end the threat.
Jake McGee pitched a one-two-three ninth inning to get his first save of the year.
Tampa Bay has now won eight straight games, while the Twins have lost 11 of 12. It gets no easier for Minnesota as Ron Gardenhire’s bunch travels to the Bronx for a three-game series with the Yankees before the All-Star Break.