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MLB: Twins prevail over Rays in slugfest

TAMPA -- Designated hitter Miguel Sano hit a three-run homer in the first inning to lead an offensive surge by the Minnesota Twins in an 11-7 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on Tuesday.

Miguel Sano
Minnesota’s Miguel Sano, left, shakes hands with third base coach Gene Glynn after his three-run home run against the Tampa Bay Rays during the first inning Tuesday at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. USA TODAY SPORTS

TAMPA - Designated hitter Miguel Sano hit a three-run homer in the first inning to lead an offensive surge by the Minnesota Twins in an 11-7 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on Tuesday.
Brian Dozier and Eddie Rosario also homered for the Twins (64-61) as they continue to pursue the Texas Rangers for the second wild card spot in the American League.
Twins reliever J.R. Graham gave up a run in 2/3 innings of relief to pick up his first win of the season against one loss.
Matt Andriese (3-4) yielded five runs in three innings of relief for the Rays (62-63).
Twins designated hitter Miguel Sano hit a three-run homer in the first inning off Rays starter Nathan Karns to give the Twins a 3-0 lead.
The Rays rallied from two three-run deficits in the first three innings and chased Twins starter Ervin Santana in the bottom of the third when first baseman James Loney hit a two-run double that scored designated hitter John Jason and right fielder Grady Sizemore to cut the Twins lead to 5-4. Center fielder Kevin Kiermaier hit an RBI single in the next at-bat to tie the game.
Santana gave up five runs on eight hits in 2 2/3 innings on 60 pitches (32 strikes).
Minnesota continued their offensive output in the fourth inning off a two-run homer by Dozier off Andriese to give the Twins a 7-5 lead.
The Twins added three in the top of the fifth with back-to-back RBI doubles from shortstop Eduardo Escobar and center fielder Byron Buxton to take a 10-6 lead.
Rays catcher Curt Casali made the score 10-7 with a solo homer in the bottom of the fifth off Twins reliever Neal Cotts.
Karns gave up five runs on four hits in three innings. He walked four and struck out three on 68 pitches (36 strikes).
NOTES: Major League Baseball announced Tuesday that Rays 1B James Loney has been suspended one game and fined for making contact with umpire Paul Nauert after striking out on a called third strike in the sixth inning Saturday against the Oakland Athletics. Loney will appeal the suspension. ...If he gets into a game in this series, Twins RHP Kevin Jepsen will face his former team for the first time since being traded on July 31 for two minor leaguers. ...Rays LHP Matt Moore could return to the team on September 1 after he set a Triple-A strikeout record with 16 against Columbus. ...Twins RHP Blaine Boyer appears ready to return off of the 15-day DL after throwing a bullpen session Monday.

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