ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas pitching staff has been among the American League's worst all season, so when two rookies combine for a shutout, the Rangers think there could be better days ahead.
Kameron Loe went five innings in his second career start and C.J. Wilson allowed one hit over the final four for his first career save as the Rangers beat the Minnesota Twins 6-0 on Friday night.
Loe (6-4) was making his first of the season after 40 relief appearances. He allowed five hits and struck out five without a walk.
"I've wanted this for a long time," said Loe, a starter in the minors before joining the Rangers' bullpen this season. "It's good to get the first one out of the way. I went after hitters, was aggressive and kept away from the free bases. I was nervous all day. I just hoped I could go out there and give us a chance to win."
Wilson, who started the night 0-6 with a 9.62 ERA, struck out three and didn't issue a walk to help the Rangers to their fifth shutout of the season.
"I love relieving," said Wilson, who has six starts and six relief appearances this season. "The adrenaline you have as a starter has a chance to wear you out, but as a reliever it helps you."
Manager Buck Showalter was pleased to see such strong outings from the rookies.
"Both guys worked fast and threw strikes," Showalter said. "C.J. had a good, live fastball. ... You know we have high expectations of them just like they do. I wish we could get them each a win."
David Dellucci and Alfonso Soriano homered in a four-run third inning for Texas. Michael Young also homered for the Rangers, who have won three of four at home following a 1-12 road trip, while Mark DeRosa went 3-for-4.
Young starters Loe, Chris Young, Juan Dominguez and Joaquin Benoit have combined for a 1.57 ERA in the first four games of the homestand.
Michael Ryan had three hits for the Twins, who have lost three straight and were shut out for the seventh time this season.
The Twins are watching their wild-card hopes fade.
"You're trailing three teams, you've got to win every one of them," Minnesota starter Kyle Lohse said. "If you don't, you're going to lose ground to somebody. You've got to beat the teams you're supposed to beat."
Young's 19th homer in the first off Lohse (8-12) was good for a 1-0 lead, but Young wasn't sure the ball cleared the wall in right center.
Center fielder Lew Ford made a long run and stuck his glove over the wall in an attempt to snag the drive, but Ford came down empty. Young, who had stopped at second, finished circling the bases when second base umpire John Hirschbeck gave the home run signal.
Dellucci's two-run blast in the third -- his 22nd -- stretched Texas' lead to 3-0, and after Mark Teixeira doubled, Soriano added his 31st homer to make it 5-0.
Lohse thought he made a good inside pitch to Soriano, then watched the ball sail out of hitter-friendly Ameriquest Field.
"The one where I jammed him ... he pops it up," said Lohse, who gave up six runs and nine hits in five innings. "This place is a joke and it's a home run."
Soriano has 30 homers as a second baseman, becoming the third player at the position to reach that milestone in three straight seasons. Rogers Hornsby and Jeff Kent are the others.
Soriano's run-scoring double in the fifth made it 6-0.
The Rangers lead the majors with 209 homers. ... It was 99 degrees at the start of the game. ... 2B Brent Abernathy was scratched from the Twins lineup about an hour before the game due to a sore neck. He was replaced by Luis Rodriguez. ... Minnesota SS Juan Castro (strained left knee) won't be activated from the DL until Sept. 1. Until then, Castro has permission from the club to join his family in Arizona while his wife recovers from minor surgery. ... Teixeira has an 11-game hitting streak. ... The Rangers surpassed 2 million in home attendance for the 10th straight season.