ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Aaron Hicks hit a three-run homer, Kurt Suzuki drove in three runs, and the Minnesota Twins beat the Tampa Bay Rays 9-7 Thursday.
Sam Fuld had a pair of run-scoring doubles for the Twins, who won two of three for their first road series win against the Rays since Sept. 4-6, 2006. Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire moved past Chuck Dressen into sole possession of 59th place on the career victory list with 1,009.
After having a four-run lead cut to one, Minnesota went ahead 8-3 in the fifth on a run-scoring double by Fuld and Hicks' shot off reliever Heath Bell. It was Hicks first homer since July 14 against New York Yankees ace CC Sabathia.
Ricky Nolasco (2-2) allowed six runs and 10 hits over six-plus innings. Glen Perkins pitched the ninth for his fifth save.
Erik Bedard (0-1) gave up four runs, five hits and five walks in four innings. It was the eighth time in 10 games that Tampa Bay's starter went five or less innings.
The Twins took a 3-0 lead in the first with the help of four walks and two hits off Bedard. Suzuki had a two-run single and Fuld hit an RBI double.
James Loney drove in the first of his two runs with a double before David DeJesus got the Rays within 4-3 on a two-run homer in the second. After seventh-inning sacrifice flys by Desmond Jennings and Matt Joyce, Tampa Bay cut the deficit to 9-7 in the eighth on pinch-hitter Logan Forsythe's RBI single off Jared Burton.
Bell departed after Suzuki's RBI infield single went off his leg in the sixth. Juan Carlos Oviedo, coming back from elbow ligament replacement surgery, replaced Bell and went 1 1-3 scoreless innings in his first major league appearance since Sept. 21, 2011 with Miami when he was known as Leo Nunez.
NOTES: Minnesota C Joe Mauer and Hall of Famer Dave Winfield will co-host the Players Trust All Star Golf Tournament at Windsong Farm Golf Club in Independence, Minn., July 16 to raise funds for area children's charities. ... Twins RHP Kevin Correia (0-2) and Detroit RHP Rick Porcello (2-1) will pitch in the opener of a three-game series Friday night. ... Tampa Bay begins a four-game series Friday night at the Chicago White Sox with RHP Chris Archer (2-1) going against RHP Erik Johnson (1-1).