- Associated Press - Friday, June 3, 2016

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Brad Miller gave the Tampa Bay Rays the timely hit they’ve been lacking.

Miller hit a tiebreaking single in the eighth inning, and the Rays ended a five-game losing streak with a 4-2 win over the Minnesota Twins Friday night.

Evan Longoria hit his second homer in as many games for the Rays, who won for just the third time in in their last 14. Logan Morrison added a ninth-inning homer.

Erasmo Ramirez (7-4) and Xavier Cedeno combined for 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief, and Alex Colome labored to get five outs for his 13th save in as many tries.

Ricky Nolasco (2-4) allowed three runs - two earned - while throwing a season-high 7 2/3 innings for the Twins. No Minnesota pitcher has three wins.

“We didn’t back him up, particularly offensively, tonight. He’s feeling good and hopefully he’ll build off an outing like that,” manager Paul Molitor said.

Taylor Motter hit a bloop single with one out in the eighth, Hank Conger singled to right field and Motter took third when Max Kepler bobbled the ball for an error. Two batters later, Miller singled up the middle.

“I just tried to zero in there and get something to hit,” Miller said. “He hadn’t been giving us much, so just trying to square something up and it got through.”

Minnesota loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom half, but Kepler struck out, and Morrison homered off Brandon Kintzler in the ninth. With two runners on and one out in the bottom half, Joe Mauer lined out and Brian Dozier flied out.

Colome said he felt a little off. He had not pitched since last Saturday and had not thrown off a mound since.

“He’s still good enough to get the job done. We’ll factor that in going forward to keep him fresh,” manager Kevin Cash said.

Tampa Bay’s Jake Odorizzi threw a career-high 120 pitches in six innings, yet allowed just two earned runs and five hits while striking out six. Last Sunday, Odorizzi retired the first 16 Yankees batters before allowing a two-run homer to Starlin Castro in a 2-1 loss.

“I did what I had to do. I wouldn’t say it was my best stuff by any means but to hold them to two runs is good,” he said.

Longoria hit his team-leading 11th homer in the first, but Nolasco retired the next 10 Rays batters before Steven Souza doubled leading off the fifth. Souza scored on Mikie Mahtook’s sacrifice fly.

“I just made it a point to get ahead of these guys and use their aggressiveness to my advantage,” said Nolasco, who threw 19 first-pitch strikes.

Minnesota tied the score in the third when Byron Buxton led off with a triple - getting from home to third in 10.69 seconds - and scored on a Dozier’s groundout. Trevor Plouffe added an RBI single.

TRAINER’S ROOM:

Rays: Utility INF Steve Pearce did not start for the third straight game because of tendinitis in his right elbow. He had a pinch-hit single in Thursday’s game. . 2B Logan Forsythe, on the DL since May 10 with a hairline fracture of his left shoulder blade, took swings in the batting cage for the first time since his injury.

Twins: On the disabled list since April 23 with a right shoulder strain, RHP Kyle Gibson was scheduled to return to the Minnesota rotation Thursday but was scratched with lower back pain. However, he threw a 40-pitch bullpen session Thursday. Gibson is to start for Triple-A Rochester on Sunday. . An MRI on RF Miguel Sano’s injured left hamstring showed a moderate strain. The slugger was placed on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday, but general manager Terry Ryan expects him to be out longer.

UP NEXT:

Rays: RHP Matt Andriese (3-0, 2.36) won his first three starts after being called up from Triple-A Durham on May 8 but received a no decision in his last two outings. Monday in Kansas City he allowed one earned run and five hits over seven innings.

Twins: RHP Ervin Santana (1-4, 4.13) looks to build off last Monday’s quality start at Oakland when he allowed three earned runs in seven innings. However, in his past three starts he has allowed 11 earned runs in 18 2/3 innings.


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