It was the first game after the All-Star break, a second Opening Day of sorts, but for the Rays it was a pretty big game.

And that made their 6-2 victory against the Twins a pretty big one.

The Rays, hoping to chase down either the first-place Orioles or the Mariners, who hold the second AL wild-card spot, kept the momentum going despite the four days off for the All-Star break.

A three-run double by Evan Longoria and a two-run homer by Ben Zobrist gave Alex Cobb and the bullpen enough of a cushion as the Rays won for the 12th time in their last 16 games.

“It definitely starts that momentum that we need to get going,” Cobb said. “I think that a loss in this situation would be extremely more difficult than a loss in the beginning of the year for us to handle. I think the importance of not having a loss is (bigger) than getting the actual win itself. We got the ball moving in the right direction, so we keep the momentum going throughout this road trip, get back home and see where we’re at.”

The game turned during a pair of bases-loaded at-bats — the one in the third inning when Longoria doubled and the one in the sixth when Brad Boxberger got Twins lead-off hitter Danny Santana to ground out to Longoria to end the threat.