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Adrianza's big day gives Twins boost

Utility man goes 2-for-4 with 3-run homer as Minnesota snaps skid
Special to MLB.com

ST. PETERSBURG -- After dropping three in a row and four of five to start September, the Twins needed a little boost of confidence to get back on track. They got it in the form of seldom-used utility man Ehire Adrianza.

"My confidence is always up no matter what happens," Adrianza said after he helped the Twins end their skid and avoid a sweep with a 10-6 win against the Rays, fellow American League Wild Card contenders, at Tropicana Field on Wednesday.

Full Game Coverage

ST. PETERSBURG -- After dropping three in a row and four of five to start September, the Twins needed a little boost of confidence to get back on track. They got it in the form of seldom-used utility man Ehire Adrianza.

"My confidence is always up no matter what happens," Adrianza said after he helped the Twins end their skid and avoid a sweep with a 10-6 win against the Rays, fellow American League Wild Card contenders, at Tropicana Field on Wednesday.

Full Game Coverage

The super-utility man who is best known for his glove got the start in left field on Wednesday. It was his big day at the plate that saw him drive in three of the Twins' 10 runs.

"We were trying to find ways to get him in there every now and then to keep him sharp," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "I know he's contributed along the way, and we want to reward a guy for doing that. He never complains when he doesn't play, but I know he's always ready when I call on him."

Adrianza, batting ninth, put starter Blake Snell and the Rays in an early hole thanks to a three-run home run in the top of the second. Snell left a 94.4 four-seam fastball up in the zone that Adrianza was able to get elevated enough that it cleared the wall in left-center field just out of reach of a leaping Mallex Smith.

The home run, just Adrianza's second of the year and the fifth of his five-year career, had a distance of 361 feet, according to Statcast™.

"I was looking to hit a fastball," Adrianza said. "When I watched the video, he throws a lot of fastballs with a man in scoring position. I was looking middle-in, and he made that made mistake, so I put a good swing on it."

It was Adrianza who would end Snell's night in the fifth inning with a line-drive single up the middle to put two men on with no outs. Adrianza would come around to score on a base hit by Eduardo Escobar.

Video: MIN@TB: Escobar breaks tie on two-run single in 5th

"He got a chance to play some [in this series], and he's contributed," Molitor said. "I think he knows how to take a good at-bat, stay within himself for the most part, and every once in a while he can run into one, which he did today. It was a big boost."

J. Scott Butherus is a contributor to MLB.com based in St. Petersburg who covered the Twins on Wednesday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Minnesota Twins, Ehire Adrianza