Danny Valencia's two-out hit in seventh propels Twins to 2-1 win over Rays
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MINNEAPOLIS -- It took the Twins a few innings -- six, to be exact -- to put a blemish on David Price's pitching line, but back-to-back clutch hits by Delmon Young and Danny Valencia with two outs in the bottom of the seventh made the difference in a 2-1 victory over the Rays on Friday night.
With the Rays leading 1-0 after six innings, Price -- a leading candidate to be the starting pitcher for the American League in the upcoming All-Star Game -- had allowed only one hit and four total baserunners until Jason Kubel ripped a two-out single in the seventh.
Young then came up and tied the game 1-1 with a two-out double to the gap in left-center, scoring Jason Kubel from first base. Valencia followed with a broken-bat single up the middle to score Young, putting the Twins up 2-1.
"I was trying to be aggressive with him, because he was throwing his fastball early on, and I just didn't want to fall behind in that situation," Valencia said. "I kind of had it made up in my mind that if he was going to throw me a fastball I was going to swing. He did, and I was able to get enough wood on it to get it out there."
Price (11-4, 2.42) finished an eight-inning complete game, allowing two earned runs on four hits and four walks while striking out six.
Scott Baker (7-7, 4.72) gave up a run in the first inning on back-to-back doubles by Carl Crawford and Evan Longoria, but he settled down nicely, allowing only one run on six hits in seven innings. He struck out eight, walked none, and at one point retired 10 batters in a row.
Jon Rauch allowed two baserunners in the ninth, but retired Carl Crawford on a groundout to end the game for his 18th save of the season -- this coming on the heels of blowing his fourth save on Thursday night.
Francisco Liriano (6-6, 3.47) is scheduled to face Wade Davis (5-9, 4.68) on Saturday afternoon at 3:10 on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.