Twins fall behind early, Rays complete sweep
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MINNEAPOLIS -- James Loney had two hits and two RBIs and Chris Archer won consecutive decisions for the first time this season as the Tampa Bay Rays won their fifth straight with a 5-3 victory against the Minnesota Twins on Sunday.
Archer (6-5) pitched 6 1/3 innings, giving up one earned run on six hits while walking two and striking out four. Rookie Kirby Yates got two outs in the ninth for his first career save.
The Rays, who went on an 11-4 tear going into the All-Star break, matched their longest winning streak of the season against the punchless Twins, who scored six runs in the three-game series. At 47-53, Tampa Bay hasn't been this close to .500 since May 25, when they were five games under, and went on a 10-game losing streak.
Kevin Correia (5-12) took over the major league lead in losses, allowing four runs on seven hits and three walks in four innings for Minnesota. The veteran right-hander gave up two runs in the first and single runs in each of the next two innings.
In his previous seven starts, Correia was 3-4 but had a sparkling 2.30 ERA in 43 innings pitched.
Instead, Correia got off to a shaky start on Sunday and never recovered. Desmond Jennings led off the game with a double, and Correia walked the next two batters to load the bases. Loney delivered two runs with a sharp single to give the Rays a lead.
While Correia was dancing into and out of trouble, Archer was cruising.
The only blemishes on his record were mostly self-inflicted. With one out in the bottom of the second, Oswaldo Arcia hit a dribbler back to the mound. Archer fielded it cleanly, but fired low and the ball skipped past first baseman Loney for a two-base error. Arcia came around to score on Josh Willingham's single.
An error on right fielder Kevin Kiermaier and a wild pitch by Archer led to two more Minnesota runs in the sixth.
--Evan Longoria's second double of the game gave him 216 in his career, passing Carl Crawford for the most in franchise history. He also tied Crawford for the franchise lead with 592 career RBIs.
--Twins 1B Joe Mauer swung a bat on Sunday for the first time since he went on the 15-day DL on July 2 with a strained right oblique. Twins GM Terry Ryan said that Mauer didn't face pitching or hit off a tee, but the "dry swings" were a sign that "things are going in the right direction."
--Ryan also said he would wait until Monday to announce the Twins' starting pitcher for Tuesday's game against Cleveland. RHP Samuel Deduno, who has made eight starts this season for the Twins, pitched three innings of relief on Sunday and is not a candidate to start on Tuesday.© The Associated Press