Texas at Minnesota

Scoreboard
Texas «01150010210140
Minnesota0000010102123

Wells posts quality start in debut, Rangers erupt for 10 in win

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Kip Wells might merely be a rent-a-player for the Texas Rangers. For now, the right-hander is only concerned about helping them stay in the pennant race.

Wells made a successful first start for Texas, Mark Teixeira homered twice and the Rangers beat Minnesota 10-2 on Wednesday to give the Twins their first losing homestand this season.

Acquired in a deadline-day trade with Pittsburgh, Wells got his first win as an American Leaguer since 2001, when he was with Chicago. He pitched into the sixth inning and was responsible for one run while striking out two.

"Your goal is to have a quality start and give the team a chance to win," said Wells, who will be a free agent this fall.

And if he's not included in the long-range plans?

"That's not something to be preoccupied with," Wells said. "You have enough to worry about trying to throw strikes and get people out."

Boof Bonser (2-3), an emergency callup to fill in for rookie left-hander Francisco Liriano, lasted only four innings and left trailing 7-0. The blame was widespread, though. The Twins made two costly errors and hit into six double plays, including one on a strikeout and thwarted stolen base attempt.

"That's how the game goes," said Bonser, who was sent right back to Triple-A afterward.

Teixeira homered leading off the second, Gary Matthews Jr. had an RBI single in the third and the Rangers broke open the game in the fourth.

Ian Kinsler beat out an infield single when first baseman Justin Morneau couldn't scoop shortstop Jason Bartlett's rushed, off-balance throw.

That put two on with two outs, and Gerald Laird followed with a two-run double down the left-field line for a 4-0 lead. Then Morneau muffed a grounder in the hole by Matthews, an error that let Laird score.

Michael Young ripped a first-pitch double that soared over center fielder Torii Hunter to drive in Matthews. Then Carlos Lee hit a chopper to third that Nick Punto charged. He threw wildly past first for another error that allowed Young to come home and make it 7-0.

Bonser, who struck out five, walked two and gave up six hits, finished the inning but that was it. Only four of the seven runs he surrendered were earned.

Liriano, 12-2 with a major league-best 1.96 ERA, was scratched from this start because of inflammation in his forearm. Clearly, he was missed.

"Anytime you don't have Liriano pitching, it's going to throw the team off," said catcher Mike Redmond. "When he takes the mound, we win. That's it. But hey man, that happens in baseball. We've got to get ourselves back on track."

The Twins surged back into the wild-card race last month, and they were just two games behind the leaders when the afternoon began. But concerns about their starting pitching aren't helping the cause.

Scott Baker was sent back to the minors Tuesday night with a 6.93 ERA. Brad Radke, likely in the final couple of months of his career, had his last start cut short by ineffectiveness and a sore shoulder. Carlos Silva has a 6.49 ERA, despite a strong outing on Monday. Even ace Johan Santana wasn't his usual dominant self in July.

Pitching has been an annual summer problem for Texas, which moved back to the .500 mark and began the day three games behind Oakland in the mediocre AL West.

That's why an effective start by Wells -- who gave up seven hits and two walks -- was so important.

"At this point I don't care (why)," manager Buck Showalter said. "I just hope it continues. I haven't had that conversation with him yet. I'm just trying to leave him alone and let him do his thing."

After Punto and Joe Mauer singled in the sixth, Wes Littleton relieved and allowed Torii Hunter's RBI single with the bases loaded.

The Twins, who put the leadoff man on six times, went 2-4 against the Tigers and Rangers over the past week. They wasted several chances against Wells -- who went 1-5 with a 6.69 ERA in seven starts for the Pirates after returning from surgery for a blocked artery near his right shoulder.

The six double plays turned by the Rangers was a franchise record.

"To get a win under my belt is well worth the roller coaster it's been for the last 72 hours," Wells said. "This is a good place to be. I'm just thankful to have the opportunity to pitch somewhere."

Notes

  • Liriano said he'll make his next start Monday. "It's not a big deal. It's just a little tight," he said.
  • Teixeira has reached base in a career-high 26 straight games.
  • Twins manager Ron Gardenhire, who has missed three straight games with what has now been diagnosed as a stomach infection, was scheduled to spend Wednesday night in the hospital to receive more intravenous fluids. Team physician Dr. Vijay Eyunni said the manager should be discharged Thursday and could be ready to return to the dugout for Friday's game at Kansas City.
  • LF Jason Tyner stole a homer from Young with a leaping catch over the wall in the sixth.
  • Matt Guerrier, returning from a broken thumb that kept him out the last two months, worked three innings in relief and gave up an RBI single to Matt Stairs in the seventh.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Kip Wells allows seven hits and one run in five innings en route to his first win with Texas.  (AP)
Kip Wells allows seven hits and one run in five innings en route to his first win with Texas. (AP)

Players of the Game
Texas

K. Wells
IP 5.0
H 7
ER 1
BB 2
K 2
Texas

M. Teixeira
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 2
RBI 2
 

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Texas Rangers
Gary Matthews Jr., CF6120002
Michael Young, SS4111111
Carlos Lee, LF4001011
    Nelson Cruz, RF0000000
Mark Teixeira, 1B4222123
Hank Blalock, DH5110001
Mark DeRosa, 3B4230110
Matt Stairs, RF5011011
    Jerry Hairston Jr., PR-LF0000000
Ian Kinsler, 2B5220005
Gerald Laird, C5123003
Totals42101483617 
Batting
2B - Gary Matthews Jr. (, Eyre), Michael Young (, Bonser), Gerald Laird 2 (, Bonser, Eyre)
HR - Mark Teixeira 2 (, Bonser, Eyre)
SF - Carlos Lee ()
RBI - Michael Young (), Carlos Lee (), Mark Teixeira 2 (), Matt Stairs (), Gerald Laird 3 ()
2-OUT RBI - Michael Young (), Gerald Laird 3 ()
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - Kinsler-Young-Teixeira, Young-Kinsler-Teixeira, Laird-Kinsler, DeRosa-Kinsler-Teixeira, Kinsler-Young-Teixeira, Teixeira
Texas Rangers
Kip Wells (W,-) 5711220
Wes Littleton 1.2300200
Ron Mahay 0.2011110
Rick Bauer 0.2100000
Akinori Otsuka 1100010
Pitches-Strikes - Kip Wells 85-50, Wes Littleton 27-14, Ron Mahay 13-7, Rick Bauer 12-6, Akinori Otsuka 16-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kip Wells 6-4, Wes Littleton 3-0, Rick Bauer 1-1
Batters Faced - Kip Wells 21, Wes Littleton 8, Ron Mahay 3, Rick Bauer 3, Akinori Otsuka 3
Minnesota Twins
Jason Tyner, LF-CF5010003
Nick Punto, 3B4120121
Joe Mauer, DH4010013
Michael Cuddyer, RF3110102
Justin Morneau, 1B2000202
Torii Hunter, CF3011012
    Josh Rabe, LF1000001
Mike Redmond, C4021001
Luis Rodriguez, 2B3010102
Jason Bartlett, SS4030001
Totals3321225418 
Batting
2B - Michael Cuddyer (, Wells), Mike Redmond 2 (, Wells, Bauer)
RBI - Torii Hunter (), Mike Redmond ()
2-OUT RBI - Mike Redmond ()
CS - Jason Bartlett (, 2nd base by Wells/Laird)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - Bartlett-Rodriguez-Morneau
E - Justin Morneau (, ), Nick Punto (, ), Luis Rodriguez (, )
Minnesota Twins
Boof Bonser (L,-) 4674251
Matt Guerrier 3411110
Willie Eyre 2421001
WP - Boof Bonser ()
Pitches-Strikes - Boof Bonser 82-49, Matt Guerrier 42-25, Willie Eyre 33-22
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Boof Bonser 4-5, Matt Guerrier 5-2, Willie Eyre 4-3
Batters Faced - Boof Bonser 22, Matt Guerrier 13, Willie Eyre 11
Game Information
Attendance - 26492
Game Time - 2:56
Temperature - 74
Umpires - Home - Joe West, First Base - Ed Rapuano, Second Base - Tony Randazzo, Third Base - Jim Wolf