Preview: Rays at Twins
James Loney and the Tampa Bay Rays look to continue their respective hot hands on Sunday in the series finale against the host Minnesota Twins. Loney collected three hits in Friday's 6-2 triumph and added two more in Saturday's 5-1 win. The 30-year-old is 21-for-63 (.333) in 15 career meetings versus the Twins, but only 8-for-34 (.235) lifetime versus Sunday starter Kevin Correia.
While Tampa Bay has won 15 of its last 20 overall and 10 of 11 on the road, Minnesota hasn't been putting on a show for its fans at Target Field. After pointing to this 10-game homestand as an opportunity to establish themselves, the Twins have dropped the first two contests and seven of their last nine at home. Minnesota looks to salvage the finale of the series despite losing 26 of 36 versus Tampa Bay over the past five seasons - including 14 of 18 at Target Field.
PITCHING MATCHUP: Rays RH Chris Archer (5-5, 3.41 ERA) vs. Twins RH Kevin Correia (5-11, 4.61)
Archer picked up a no-decision after allowing five runs in as many innings against Toronto on July 11. The 25-year-old improved to 2-0 versus Minnesota after scattering three hits and striking out seven over six scoreless innings in his last meeting. Archer has kept the ball in the park in 10 of his last 11 trips to the mound while yielding just five homers all season.
Correia snapped a three-start losing skid by allowing one run on seven hits in six innings in a 9-3 triumph over Colorado on July 12. The 33-year-old has struggled at home, posting a 2-6 mark with an inflated 6.12 ERA. Correia dropped his lone career decision to Tampa Bay in their last meeting despite permitting only three runs in six innings.
1. Tampa Bay 3B Evan Longoria, who is 0-for-8 in his career versus Correia, needs one double and one RBI to match the franchise records of Carl Crawford (215 doubles, 592 RBIs).
2. Minnesota rookie CF-SS Danny Santana is 1-for-9 after missing 18 games with a bruised left knee.
3. Rays OF-DH Matt Joyce received the night off on Saturday, but is 6-for-15 against Twins this season and has driven in 15 in his last 13 meetings with Minnesota
PREDICTION: Rays 5, Twins 2