July 15, 2018 / 11:29 PM / 4 months ago

Dozier's walk-off grand slam lifts Twins over Rays

Brian Dozier hit a walk-off grand slam with one out in the bottom of the 10th inning to give the Minnesota Twins a wild 11-7 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays Sunday afternoon at Target Field in Minneapolis.

It was the 16th homer of the season and fourth career grand slam for Dozier who drove a 1-1 changeup from Matt Andriese into the left field stands to give the Twins their ninth victory in 11 games.

Dozier finished with two hits, five RBIs and two runs scored.

Eddie Rosario had three hits and drove in and scored two runs, Robbie Grossman had two hits and Jorge Polanco also scored two runs for Minnesota which bounced back from a 19-6 thrashing by the Rays on Saturday afternoon.

Alan Busenitz (3-0) picked up the win despite allowing three walks in 1 1/3 innings.

Jake Cave opened the 10th inning with a leadoff double off Andriese (2-4), the ninth pitcher used by the Rays. After Mitch Garver sacrificed Cave to third, Joe Mauer and Rosario were both intentionally walked setting the stage for Dozier’s heroics.

Jesus Sucre, subbing for injured All-Star catcher Wilson Ramos, had three hits and three RBIs and Mallex Smith and C.J. Cron each had two hits for Tampa Bay which lost for just the third time in 35 games when scoring five or more runs.

Tampa Bay, which scored 15 runs in its final three innings of its win on Saturday afternoon, jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second inning by parlaying five consecutive two-out singles off Twins starter Fernando Romero with Adeiny Hechavarria, Sucre and Kevin Kiermaier all driving in runs.

The Twins cut it to 3-1 in the bottom half of the inning on an RBI single to center by Grossman, driving in Polanco who had doubled.

Tampa Bay extended its lead to 4-1 in the fifth on an RBI double off the left field fence by Joey Wendle, driving in Daniel Robertson who opened the inning by getting hit by a pitch, advanced to second on a groundout and went to third on a single by Cron. With runners still at second and third, Twins manager Paul Molitor then replaced Romero with closer Fernando Rodney who got out of the jam by striking out Carlos Gomez and getting Smith to ground out.

The Twins came back to take a 5-4 lead in the seventh behind and RBI single by Rosario and a two-run single by Dozier who then scored the go-ahead run on a balk by Diego Castillo. Twice after the play the benches emptied and Eduardo Escobar, who walked down the third base line and had to be restrained during a shouting match with Robertson, was ejected.

Tampa then regained the lead, 6-5, in the eighth on Sucre’s two-out, two-run double to center off reliever Trevor Hildenberger which drove in Hechavarria and Matt Duffy.

The Twins tied it, 6-6, on with four walks in the eighth, the final one on four straight pitches by Sergio Romo to Mauer that drove in Polanco. Rosario followed with an RBI single to center, driving in Max Kepler to give the Twins a 7-6 lead.

Robertson singled to start the ninth, stole second, went to third on a ground out by Cron and then tied it, 7-7, on Wendle’s two-out single to center.

—Field Level Media

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