Roger Mooney covers the Tampa Bay Rays for The Tampa Tribune, TBO.com and News Channel 8. He has covered the Rays since their first season in 1998, including 11 years for the Bradenton Herald. Roger has also covered Florida, South Florida and Florida State football, the Bucs and the Lightning.
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Rays 12, Twins 6: Rolling, rolling, rolling
Posted Aug 11, 2012 by Roger Mooney
Updated Aug 11, 2012 at 12:22 AM
MINNEAPOLIS The Rays are rolling, and they are rolling because they are hitting.
The Rays beat up on the Twins on Friday night, winning 12-6 at Target Field.
They hit a season-high six doubles, got three RBI out of Jose Molina, saw Matt Joyce extend his hitting streak to nine games and drive in four runs with a two-run homer in the first inning and a two-run double in the second.
The Rays matched a season-high for runs in the sixth-run second inning.
Every starter but Ben Zobrist had at least one hit. Zobrist was 0-for-5 and tied a team record by grounding into three double plays, joining Javier Valentin, who set the record June 17, 2003 at Yankee Stadium.
Friday’s offensive display gave the Rays 26 runs on 42 hits in the four games since Evan Longoria returned from the disabled list.
They are batting .436 with runners in scoring position in those four games.
Longoria is 5-for-15 with four RBI.
The bottom of the order has perked up, something manager Joe Maddon said is a trickledown effect now that Longoria is back.
With Longoria, Maddon is able to bat Jeff Keppinger seventh. On Friday, Keppinger, Ryan Roberts and Molina – the 7, 8, 9 hitters – combined to go 6-for-11 with seven runs scored and three RBI.
Leadoff hitter Desmond Jennings, who Maddon says is the catalyst of the offense, was 3-for-4 with two doubles, a walk and three runs scored.
The Rays are on a four-game winning streak for the first time since June 7-10. They have won seven of their last nine and are eight games over .500 for the first time since June 24.