Series: Game 2 of 3

Series tied 1-1 (as of 5/26)

Game 1: Tuesday, May 25
Tampa Bay6
Game 2: Wednesday, May 26
Tampa Bay2
Game 3: Thursday, May 27
Tampa Bay5

Twins 4

(26-19, 12-11 away)

Devil Rays 2

(15-29, 12-12 home)

    7:15 PM ET, May 26, 2004

    Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida 

    123456789 R H E
    MIN 100020001 4 8 0
    TB 000200000 2 7 0

    W: S. Greisinger (2-3)

    L: R. Bell (0-2)

    S: J. Nathan (14)

    Pen covers four innings in win

    ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- Walks and missed opportunities put an end to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays' longest winning streak since 2000.

    Jacque Jones had a go-ahead, two-run double and the Minnesota Twins defeated the Devil Rays 4-2, putting an end to Tampa Bay's five-game winning streak on Wednesday night.

    Jose Cruz Jr., last week's AL player of the week, hit a two-run triple for the Devil Rays, who hadn't managed such a good run since winning six in a row Sept. 24-29, 2000.

    "We've been playing better," Tampa Bay outfielder Robert Fick said. "We lost a tough one tonight."

    Starter Seth Greisinger (2-3) allowed two runs and six hits over five innings, and Jones gave the Twins a 3-2 lead in the fifth.

    Minnesota's bullpen made the lead stand up.

    Terry Mulholland, Juan Rincon, J.C. Romero and Joe Nathan combined for four scoreless innings.

    Nathan worked the ninth for his 14th save in 15 opportunities. He has not allowed a run in his last 18 appearances, covering 19 innings.

    "Every win is important," Jones said. "I don't care if it's against the Devil Rays, the White Sox, Rangers, Yankees."

    Matthew LeCroy put the Twins up 1-0 with a run-scoring single in the first, but Cruz gave the Devil Rays a 2-1 lead in the fourth.

    Cruz was left stranded at third when Greisinger retired Julio Lugo, Fick and Toby Hall, who also hit into an inning-ending double play with two on in the second.

    "I just tried to settle down and get ahead of the hitters," Greisinger said.

    Jones possibly cost the Twins another run after making it 3-2 in the fifth when he was caught leaning off second base by reliever Travis Harper and tagged out following a rundown. LeCroy followed with a two-out single to center.

    The fifth-inning rally started when Rob Bell (0-2) walked ninth-place hitter Alex Prieto and leadoff man Lew Ford.

    "It's stupid and it's wrong," Bell said. "I understand that. It's not a game you can play and not expect to make mistakes, but those are avoidable mistakes."

    Devil Rays manager Lou Piniella disgustedly agreed.

    "You got the ninth hitter coming up ... make him hit the ball," he said. "You give up walks and they score."

    Carl Crawford singled and stole second with one out in the bottom of fifth, but he was then thrown out trying to steal third. Crawford leads the AL with 22 stolen bases.

    Bell (0-2) gave up three runs and four hits in 4 1-3 innings. He threw 85 pitches.

    Cristian Guzman hit an RBI single in the ninth off Danys Baez, stopping Tampa Bay's bullpen scoreless streak at 27 2-3 innings.

    "We're not clicking right now offensively," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We're not on everything, but we're putting forth a good effort. That's all I look for."

    Game notes

    Cruz has 10 RBI over the past eight games. ... Twins 3B Corey Koskie (sternum) will be activated from the 15-day disabled list Thursday. He played in an extended spring training game Wednesday. ... Minnesota OF Michael Restovich was optioned to Triple-A Rochester. ... Devil Rays CF Rocco Baldelli (right quadricpes) was the DH for the second straight game. He has a hit in seven straight and 12 of his last 13 games. .... Minnesota C Joe Mauer (left knee) was 3-for-4 in a rehabilitation assignment with Class-A Fort Myers on Wednesday. He could rejoin the Twins next week. ... Fick snapped an 0-for-18 slide with a second-inning single. It was just his second hit in 42 at bats. ... Ford was 3-for-3 with a two walks.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press