|Minnesota (22-24) «||1||1||1||2||0||0||0||0||0||5||8||0|
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Justin Morneau says he enjoys hitting at Ameriquest Field, and the numbers back him up.
The AL MVP in 2006 hit his 14th homer of the season, a solo drive in the third on an inside fastball off Robinson Tejeda (4-4) to give Minnesota a 3-1 lead. For the series, Morneau went 5-for-13 with three homers and seven RBI. In the last two seasons at Ameriquest, he is 14-for-36 (.389) with six homers and 15 RBI.
"I like playing here," Morneau said. "The ball carries pretty well here. The wind seems always to be blowing the ball out to right-center. You just have to square it up and it's got a good chance to go out."
Sammy Sosa pinch hit for Texas with two on and two outs in the ninth and struck out, remaining two home runs shy of 600.
Bonser (3-1) allowed two runs and six hits in five innings, struck out six and walked two. Joe Nathan, the Twins' fifth pitcher, got three outs for his ninth save in 10 chances as Minnesota finished a 4-5 trip.
Texas' Victor Diaz broke his bat on a double-play grounder in the ninth. The shattered barrel of the bat struck Nathan on the back of his right leg, but the reliever remained on the mound, fanning Sosa three batters later.
When Nathan was struck with the piece of the bat, Twins medical personnel and manager Ron Gardenhire sprinted to the mound to check on the right-hander. Nathan limped for a few seconds, but when he ran a few strides, Gardenhire was convinced that his closer was OK.
"(Nathan) said, 'I'm fine. Let's go before it tightens up,"' Gardenhire said.
Tejeda gave up five runs and three hits in three-plus innings, throwing 86 pitches.
"He couldn't find his rhythm with any of his pitches," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "He fought as hard as he could but just couldn't find his rhythm. He couldn't hit his spots and they waited him out."
Kenny Lofton and Mark Teixeira had three hits each, and Teixeira drove in two runs for the Rangers, held to four runs in the final two games of the three-game series after scoring 14 in the opener. The Rangers left 14 on base in the finale.
"We had some opportunities but we didn't cash in," Teixeira said. "They made some pitches. This is one of the best pitching staffs in the majors. It's tough not to press offensively. But we'll start getting 'em in."
Torii Hunter's RBI single in the first gave Minnesota the lead, then Texas tied it in the bottom half on Teixeira's run-scoring double.
Luis Castillo, who had three hits, singled home the go-ahead run in the second. Morneau's third-inning drive gave him homers in consecutive games for the third time this season.
"The fastball I threw to (strike out) Kinsler was one of my better pitches," Bonser said. "I got the better end of it this time. I battled today. I didn't really have much command, but we pulled through and got the W."
Jason Tyner hit into an RBI forceout in the fourth off C.J. Wilson and scored on a wild pitch that increased Minnesota's lead to 5-2.
|Boof Bonser yields two runs on six hits over five innings for his third consecutive victory. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Luis Castillo, 2B||5||1||3||1||0||0||2||.329|
|Jason Tyner, DH||4||1||0||1||0||0||3||.253|
|Michael Cuddyer, RF||3||0||0||0||2||2||4||.269|
|Justin Morneau, 1B||5||1||1||1||0||1||5||.282|
|Torii Hunter, CF||4||0||1||1||1||1||0||.315|
|Jason Kubel, LF||3||0||1||0||1||0||2||.252|
|Lew Ford, LF||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||.214|
|Luis Rodriguez, 3B||4||1||0||0||1||0||5||.194|
|Chris Heintz, C||5||0||1||0||0||0||2||.250|
|Nick Punto, SS||1||1||0||0||3||0||2||.230|
|HR - Justin Morneau (14, Tejeda)|
|RBI - Luis Castillo (7), Jason Tyner (10), Justin Morneau (33), Torii Hunter (40)|
|2-OUT RBI - Torii Hunter (18)|
|SB - Jason Kubel (2, 2nd base off Tejeda/Stewart), Nick Punto (5, 2nd base off Francisco/Stewart)|
|Team LOB - 12|
|DP - Castillo-Punto-Morneau|
|Boof Bonser (W,3-1)||5||6||2||2||2||6||0||3.88|
|Matt Guerrier (H,3)||2||2||0||0||0||2||0||1.93|
|Juan Rincon (H,6)||0.2||3||1||1||0||2||0||3.18|
|Pat Neshek (H,3)||0.1||0||0||0||0||0||0||1.27|
|Joe Nathan (S,9)||1||2||0||0||1||1||0||2.21|
|HBP - Cruz (by Boof Bonser)|
|WP - Juan Rincon (3)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Boof Bonser 101-63, Matt Guerrier 29-18, Juan Rincon 24-16, Pat Neshek 4-2, Joe Nathan 20-11|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Boof Bonser 2-7, Matt Guerrier 2-2, Joe Nathan 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Boof Bonser 24, Matt Guerrier 8, Juan Rincon 5, Pat Neshek 1, Joe Nathan 5|
|Kenny Lofton, CF||5||2||3||0||0||0||1||.267|
|Michael Young, SS||4||0||1||0||1||0||4||.240|
|Mark Teixeira, DH||5||0||3||2||0||1||1||.307|
|Victor Diaz, RF||5||0||1||0||0||1||4||.265|
|Nelson Cruz, LF||3||0||1||0||1||1||3||.211|
|Ian Kinsler, 2B||4||0||0||0||1||2||4||.240|
|Ramon Vazquez, 3B||4||1||2||0||0||0||3||.600|
|a- Sammy Sosa, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||2||.266|
|Matt Kata, 1B||4||0||0||0||0||4||2||.220|
|Chris Stewart, C||3||0||1||0||0||1||1||.250|
|b- Frank Catalanotto, PH||1||0||1||1||0||0||0||.164|
|Gerald Laird, C||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.233|
|a-struck out for Vazquez in the 9th|
|b-singled for Stewart in the 8th|
|2B - Kenny Lofton (6, Bonser), Mark Teixeira (15, Bonser), Nelson Cruz (8, Nathan)|
|RBI - Mark Teixeira 2 (29), Frank Catalanotto (10)|
|2-OUT RBI - Frank Catalanotto (7)|
|SB - Kenny Lofton (15, 2nd base off Bonser/Heintz)|
|Team LOB - 13|
|PB - Chris Stewart (2)|
|E - Chris Stewart (2, Throwing)|
|Robinson Tejeda (L,4-4)||3||7||5||5||3||3||1||5.18|
|IBB - Hunter by C.J. Wilson|
|HBP - Tyner (by Frank Francisco)|
|WP - C.J. Wilson 2 (3)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Robinson Tejeda 86-52, C.J. Wilson 40-20, Willie Eyre 16-10, Frank Francisco 22-12, Joaquin Benoit 15-10|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Robinson Tejeda 2-4, C.J. Wilson 5-1, Willie Eyre 5-1, Joaquin Benoit 2-1|
|Batters Faced - Robinson Tejeda 19, C.J. Wilson 10, Willie Eyre 6, Frank Francisco 5, Joaquin Benoit 4|
|Attendance - 24370|
|Game Time - 3:29|
|Temperature - 81|
|Umpires - Home - Marvin Hudson, First Base - Jerry Layne, Second Base - Ed Montague, Third Base - Bill Miller|