In a battle of American League powers, the Twins (40-18) went into Tampa Bay (35-22) and took three of four games, including a 9-7 win Sunday afternoon.
Jake Odorizzi, pitching against his former team, fired six shutout innings and struck out a season-high nine batters. The right-hander improved to 8-2 and lowered his American League-leading ERA to 1.96.
Odorizzi hasn't allowed a run – earned or unearned – in six of his last seven starts. He's allowed four hits or fewer in six of his last seven starts, too.
As pretty as Odorizzi's numbers are, the finish to Sunday's game was the opposite as things got out of hand when the bullpen took over.
Matt Magill was charged with five runs on four hits and a walk as Tampa Bay turned a 7-0 deficit into a two-run ballgame in the seventh inning. With runners at first and third, Blake Parker struck out Willy Adames looking to end the inning.
Then, with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, Miguel Sano's second double and third hit of the game set the stage for Jonathan Schoop to blast a mammoth homer to push the lead back to four.
But that lead was again cut in half in the eighth when Parker served up a two-run homer, making it a 9-7 game. Fortunately, Taylor Rogers struck out the side for a 1-2-3 ninth and his fifth save of the season.
Minnesota built the 7-0 lead with two runs in the third, one in the fourth and then four in the fifth – highlighted by a three-run double by C.J. Cron.
Cron, Jorge Polanco (2 RBI) and Byron Buxton each had two hits while Sano led the Twins with three hits.
Buxton also made the play of the game, backing into the center field wall to make a catch and then throwing a strike to first base to double off Austin Meadows. Statcast measured Buxton's throw at 97.1 mph and more than 300 feet.