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Tampa Bay stifles Twins

MINNEAPOLIS — The Tampa Bay Rays got a solid performance on the mound from starter Alex Cobb and a pair of timely hits in a 6-2 win over the Minnesota Twins Friday at Target Field.

Cobb pitched 5 2/3 innings of two-run ball to earn his fifth victory of the season, allowing the two runs on only five hits, two walks and two hit batters.

Cobb outdueled Twins right-hander Kyle Gibson, who lasted into the seventh inning but allowed six earned runs over 6 1/3 innings, on nine hits and a walk, dropping to 8-8.

Gibson ran into trouble in the third, loading the bases with one out for Rays designated hitter Matt Joyce. Gibson got Joyce to pop out in foul territory behind third base, but fell behind Tampa third baseman Evan Longoria and grooved a 2-0 fastball that Longoria hit off the wall in right for a double, clearing the bases for a 3-0 lead. First baseman James Loney followed with a single behind the shift to deep second, but Twins second baseman Brian Dozier fired home to retire Longoria to end the inning.

Minnesota got two back in the bottom half of the inning, as Dozier singled to put one on with two outs for third baseman Trevor Plouffe, who bashed his seventh homer of the season just over the wall in left field to make it a one-run game.

But the Rays regained a three-run lead in the fifth as left fielder Ben Zobrist got ahead in the count 3-1 and ripped a Gibson fastball over the wall in right for a two-run blast, his seventh homer of the year.

Notes: The Twins reinstated CF/SS Danny Santana from the 15-day disabled list before the game. He missed 17 games after suffering a bone bruise in his left knee June 25. Santana started in center field and led off the game for the Twins. ... The Rays placed C Ryan Hanigan on the 15-day disabled list with an oblique strain and selected the contract of catcher Curt Casali from Triple-A Durham. Hanigan’s stint on the DL is retroactive to July 9. ... Rays CF Desmond Jennings led off the game and started in center Friday. He missed the final two games before the All-Star break with a bruised left knee.