ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Miguel Sano hit the highest pop-fly ever at Tropicana Field before sending two other balls deep into the left-field seats.
Sano homered twice and drove in four runs as the Minnesota Twins took two of three in a series between the teams with the AL’s worst records by beating the Tampa Bay Rays 6-3 on Sunday.
“It was really fun to hit the home runs and help the team to win the series,” Sano said through a translator. “I’m going to keep on doing my job.”
Sano put the Twins up 3-1 on a three-run shot off Matt Andriese in the third and added a solo drive during the ninth against Ryan Garton. The blasts were estimated at 425- and 419-feet, respectively.
Sano also became the first player to hit a ball off the roof at Tropicana Field, which opened in 1998, in the first when his pop fly hit 210 feet above the playing surface before being caught by third baseman Evan Longoria.
“I looked up and the ball kind of disappeared,” Andriese said. “I wasn’t too sure exactly where it went but Longo kept his eye on it, so that’s cool.”
The Twins have won eight of 11.
“It’s fun to get on a roll and find a way to win some games,” Minnesota manager Paul Molitor said.
Kyle Gibson (4-6) gave up two runs, six hits and walked four over five innings to get his first win over Tampa Bay after four losses. Brandon Kintzler, the Twins’ fourth reliever, pitched the ninth for his ninth save.
Nick Franklin and Longoria homered for the Rays. Longoria has seven homers in seven games against Minnesota this season.
Andriese (6-3) allowed three runs and six hits in 4 2/3 innings.
Brian Dozier extended his career-high hitting streak to 16 games with a single in the seventh and later scored to make it 4-2 on Max Kepler’s sacrifice fly.
Kepler had two hits and also made a diving catch in right field during the seventh to take a hit away from Logan Forsythe.
The Rays’ upcoming six-game road trip includes New York slugger Alex Rodriguez’s final game Friday night at Yankee Stadium. Tampa Bay OF Steven Souza Jr. said A-Rod was one his favorite players growing up. “I know it hasn’t been the season that David Ortiz is having this year with his send-off,” Souza said. “But the way he played the game, PED or not, he was extremely talented and so hopefully we can send him off with a thank you for a great career.”
Molitor said Rodriguez “had an incredible run” and has numbers among the best of all-time. “Hopefully his transition will be smooth,” Molitor said.
Twins: 3B Trevor Plouffe (fractured left rib) will be reinstated from the disabled list Monday. To make room on the roster, OF Byron Buxton was optioned to Triple-A Rochester..
Rays: RHP Alex Cobb (Tommy John surgery) is scheduled to pitch four innings for Triple-A Durham Wednesday. . 1B Logan Morrison (strained right forearm) and OF Oswaldo Arcia (strained right elbow) will work out Monday with Class A Charlotte.
Twins: RHP Tyler Duffey (6-8) faces Houston RHP Collin McHugh (7-8) Monday night.
Rays: RHP Jake Odorizzi (6-5) has a stretch of three consecutive scoreless starts (20 2/3 innings) entering Monday night’s outing against Toronto knuckleballer R.A. Dickey (8-12).
(© Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)