After 13 innings on Wednesday night, Minnesota and Tampa Bay will return to Tropicana Field bright and early for the series finale.
With a 12:10 p.m. local time start, the two teams earned little rest after the deadlocked game Wednesday.
But for the Rays' Thursday starter, Matt Moore, the key to the early start is getting rest -- and he just may be about the only guy to get some, besides Twins starter Mike Pelfrey.
"Making sure I get to bed a little extra early," Moore said of the challenge of an early start.
Moore, a left-hander, is 12-3 on the season with a 3.42 ERA and 98 strikeouts this season.
Moore faced a bit of a slump in early June as he took three straight losses in which he gave up 19 earned runs. Since those three losses, Moore won his next four starts and allowed only four runs over that span.
"I think every year you have that rise and fall or fall and rise type of thing," Moore said. "You get some momentum. And you keep running with it. When things are going tough it's kind of hard to take that first step and get the ball rolling. It just seems like a lot of things are against you. Where we're at right now, we're having a good time. Things are loose. ... It's an exciting time here right now."
Pelfrey has faced his own bit of adversity this season as Thursday marks his second start since he went on the disabled list with a sore back on June 23. Pelfrey is 4-6 this season in 15 starts with a 5.63 ERA. In his last outing on Saturday the right-hander tossed six shutout innings against the Blue Jays. He gave up only three hits and walked three while striking out two.
Pelfrey's outing in Thursday's series finale will be the Twins final chance to upend the Rays until Sept.
The Twins have fallen in their last eight matchups with the Rays. Tampa Bay's 8-0 win streak over Minnesota is the longest stretch in Ray's club history. Also, the Rays have not lost a season series to the Twins since 2006 -- already claiming this current series with three straight wins.
Twins: Thielbar heads on bereavement list
Left-handed reliever Caleb Thielbar will miss action Thursday through Saturday as he heads back to Minnesota due to the death of his grandmother.
"Tough situation for Caleb and his family. All of our thoughts and prayers are with him," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Caleb's fine. He's doing it exactly the way he wanted it to be done."
Thielbar relinquished his first run of the season Monday in the Twins 7-4 loss to the Rays. Thielbar had been solid for the Twins with 19 2/3 innings of scoreless work before giving up a home run to Ben Zorbist in the seventh inning.
With Thielbar gone, Minnesota's No. 20 prospect Michael Tonkin will slot into the bullpen.
Rays: Offense reigns as club hits season-high win streak
•With 435 runs scored on the season, the Rays have the sixth most runs this year in the Major Leagues. They also rank seventh in the league with 102 home runs. In their last 33 games, they have a 38-22 home run edge over their opponents.
• Tampa Bay is on a seven-game win streak which is the longest active streak in the MLB. The last time they recorded a longer streak was an eight-game stretch September 19-27, 2012.
• Twins right-handed reliever Casey Fien has had six straight scoreless outings. He's pitched a total of five innings over that stretch and has given up only two hits while striking out six.
•The Twins and the Rays combined for 35 strikeouts Wednesday night. Rays starter Jeremy Hellickson accounted for eight of those while Kevin Correia struck out six for the Twins.
Kelly Erickson is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.