MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota (Reuters) - Willy Aybar drove in the winning run with an RBI single in the 10th inning to secure a dramatic 5-4 victory for the Tampa Bay Rays over the Minnesota Twins on Thursday.
The Rays were trailing 4-3 with two outs in the ninth when Carl Crawford singled and Evan Longoria connected for a game-tying double to force extra innings.
Once Aybar had put them ahead, Rafael Soriano came on in the bottom of the inning to earn his 19th save of the season for the Devil Rays (46-32), who remain two games behind the first-place New York Yankees in the American League East.
"Everybody battled," Rays manager Joe Maddon told reporters. "These are the kinds of wins I really like.
"I always like extra-inning wins on the road. I think they demonstrate the character of a team."
Delmon Young drove in two runs, including a home run in the seventh that tied the game at 3-3, for the AL Central-leading Twins (43-36).
Minnesota edged ahead in the eighth but reliever Jon Rauch surrendered the tying run in the ninth and Matt Guerrier allowed the winning score.
The Rays had been 2-0 down before they scored once in each of the fourth and fifth innings. Crawford then gave the visitors a 3-2 lead with an RBI single in the seventh. He finished 4-for-6 with two runs.
Tampa Bay outfielder B.J. Upton was absent again from the lineout and has not started since getting into a confrontation with Longoria last Sunday in the dugout, but the team has said his absence has been strictly related to injury.
Minnesota pitcher Carl Pavano was looking to win his fifth successive start but had to take a no-decision after allowing three runs in 6 1/3 innings.
(Reporting by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by John O'Brien/Greg Stutchbury)