Twins narrowly avoid no-hitter, lose to Rays

Published 8:07 am Wednesday, September 6, 2017

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Jake Odorizzi had his best start of the season Tuesday night, and the tiny crowd at Tropicana Field showed its appreciation after the Tampa Bay Rays right-hander took a no-hitter into the seventh inning of a 2-1 win over the Minnesota Twins.

Lucas Duda homered and drove in both runs for the Rays, who improved to .500 on the season and got within two games of Minnesota in the AL wild-card race. The Twins, who have lost three straight, were tied with Los Angeles for the second wild-card spot pending the result of the Angels’ game at Oakland.

Joe Mauer got the Twins’ first hit — and extended his hitting streak to 14 games — with a grounder that caromed off second base with one out in the seventh. Odorizzi (8-7) was lifted for reliever Dan Jennings after striking out the next batter, Jorge Polanco.

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“I know he’s hit a tough stretch here, but for the life of me I couldn’t figure out why the fans booed him coming off the field,” joked manager Kevin Cash.

The only other batter to reach base against Odorizzi was Eddie Rosario, who walked leading off the fifth.

The game was played before a crowd of 6,509, the smallest-ever announced attendance for a Rays home game. Nearly 400 fewer fans attended last Wednesday’s relocated game between the Astros and Rangers at Tropicana Field.

Odorizzi won consecutive starts for the first time this season.