Rays-Twins: Jason Hammel Solid As Rays Earn Split in Minnesota

Steven WynockerCorrespondent IApril 17, 2008

The Tampa Bay Rays ended a three-game skid behind Jason Hammel's six-inning, five-strikeout performance over the Minnesota Twins. 

Eric Hinske got things started for the Rays in the second inning with a solo shot to right, his fourth on the season. Hinske swung a hot bat in spring and made his own way on this team and has continued his success thus far in the early season.

The Rays spread the wealth around with 11 hits including Carl Crawford, Evan Longoria, and Jason Bartlett collecting two apiece.  Hammel has now pitched back-to-back great outings for the Rays, which will make it a tough decision as to what to do with him when Rays ace Scott Kazmir comes off the DL.

Not all good news came out of tonight's game as Carlos Pena pulled up trying to beat out an infield hit. He was then taken out for precautionary measures and hopefully will be back in the lineup soon.

The Rays will now travel back home for a weekend series against the Chicago White Sox.

Jeff Niemann will look to back up his great major league debut with another strong pitching performance.