|Minnesota (11-13) «||0||0||2||0||0||3||3||4||0||12||16||0|
Michael Cuddyer hit a three-run homer, and the Twins ended a three-game losing streak with a 12-6 victory over stumbling Texas on Saturday night.
The Rangers (8-17) have already set a franchise record for April defeats, and they continued their sloppy defensive play with three errors that led to five unearned runs. Texas also had a passed ball, and three Minnesota hits bounced off Texas gloves.
"You can lose two ways: the other team can play better, or you can beat yourself," said David Murphy, who had a career-high three RBI for Texas. "You don't like giving freebies away. You give the other team an inch and they're going to make that inch go a long way."
The Twins, who started the night 13th in the AL in runs, had managed only 17 runs in their previous seven games before breaking out against the Rangers.
Minnesota rebounded after Friday night's 6-5 loss to Texas in 10 innings with a season-best 16 hits, 12 of them singles.
"It was a good bounce back after a tough one last night," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "They made a couple of mistakes, and we were able to take advantage of those. We were more consistent and patient in our at-bats."
Minnesota's lineup showed depth, with its 6 through 9 hitters going a combined 9-for-18 with six RBI.
"The 3-4-5 hitters usually carry the offense," Minnesota's Mike Lamb said. "But they're not going to do it every day. It's important for the bottom of the lineup to pick up the slack. If we can contribute on a regular basis, this team will be very dangerous."
Texas, which has lost eight of its past nine, fell short of its third two-game winning streak of the season.
Rangers manager Ron Washington's job status remains in question, and another poor defensive effort won't enhance Washington's long-term future in Texas.
"It's physical mistakes," Washington said. "We wanted to play well and for five innings we did. But mistakes ended up costing us."
With the score tied at 5, the Twins loaded the bases in the seventh against Jamey Wright (1-1) and ex-Twin Eddie Guardado. Young's two-run single off Franklyn German put the Twins in front, and Lamb followed with an RBI single to extend Minnesota's lead to 8-5.
Joe Mauer's RBI single in the eighth stretched the Twins' advantage to 9-5, and Cuddyer's three-run blast later in the inning put the game out of reach.
Dennys Reyes (1-0) allowed one hit in two-thirds of an inning for the win.
Sidney Ponson, whose contract was purchased from Triple-A Oklahoma to make the start for Texas, lasted 5 1/3 innings in his first big-league appearance in almost a year. He allowed five runs -- one earned -- and seven hits.
Ponson, 1-2 with a 3.47 ERA at Oklahoma, last started on May 12, for Minnesota against Detroit.
Twins starter Scott Baker left the game in the fifth inning with a mild groin strain.
The Twins were trailing 4-2 when Gardenhire and a team trainer went to the mound to check on Baker. After talking with Baker, Gardenhire summoned right-hander Matt Guerrier from the bullpen.
Gardenhire said that with two off-days upcoming, Baker will have enough recovery time to make his next start on schedule.
"It wasn't getting any worse," Baker said. "But there was no point in pushing it."
Baker gave up five runs and eight hits in 4 1/3 innings, but the Twins scored three unearned runs in the sixth to tie it at 5 and take Baker off the hook for the loss.
Ponson's throwing error helped the Twins in the sixth.
"I threw the ball away and the momentum changed," Ponson said. "I'm not happy about it."
|Players of the Game|
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|Matt Tolbert, SS||6||1||0||0||0||1||6||.304|
|Brendan Harris, 2B||5||2||3||0||0||1||2||.291|
|Joe Mauer, C||5||3||2||1||0||0||2||.308|
|Justin Morneau, 1B||4||1||1||0||1||0||1||.279|
|Michael Cuddyer, RF||4||3||1||3||1||1||1||.259|
|Jason Kubel, DH||5||0||2||1||0||0||3||.259|
|Delmon Young, LF||4||1||2||2||1||1||1||.258|
|Mike Lamb, 3B||4||1||3||2||0||0||0||.214|
|Craig Monroe, CF||5||0||2||1||0||1||3||.273|
|2B - Brendan Harris (5, Ponson), Mike Lamb (6, Feldman), Craig Monroe (5, Ponson)|
|HR - Michael Cuddyer (1, Feldman)|
|SF - Mike Lamb (2)|
|SH - Brendan Harris (2)|
|RBI - Joe Mauer (10), Michael Cuddyer 3 (4), Jason Kubel (14), Delmon Young 2 (8), Mike Lamb 2 (10), Craig Monroe (7)|
|2-OUT RBI - Delmon Young 2 (2), Mike Lamb (3)|
|SB - Matt Tolbert (3, 2nd base off Feldman/Saltalamacchia)|
|Dennys Reyes (W,1-0)||0.2||1||0||0||1||0||0||0.00|
|Jesse Crain (H,1)||0.2||0||0||0||0||2||0||5.40|
|Pitches-Strikes - Scott Baker 79-54, Matt Guerrier 30-16, Dennys Reyes 13-7, Jesse Crain 11-6, Pat Neshek 20-12, Bobby Korecky 25-11|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Scott Baker 3-3, Matt Guerrier 3-1, Dennys Reyes 1-1, Bobby Korecky 2-0|
|Batters Faced - Scott Baker 22, Matt Guerrier 7, Dennys Reyes 4, Jesse Crain 2, Pat Neshek 5, Bobby Korecky 5|
|Ian Kinsler, 2B||5||1||2||0||0||1||0||.293|
|Michael Young, SS||3||1||1||0||2||2||3||.283|
|Josh Hamilton, CF||4||1||3||2||1||0||2||.317|
|Milton Bradley, DH||4||0||1||0||1||2||5||.324|
|David Murphy, RF||5||1||2||3||0||1||1||.301|
|Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C||3||0||1||0||2||2||1||.333|
|Frank Catalanotto, LF||3||0||0||0||0||0||3||.250|
|a- Jason Botts, PH-LF||1||0||0||0||1||1||2||.147|
|Ben Broussard, 1B||5||1||1||0||0||1||2||.169|
|Ramon Vazquez, 3B||5||1||1||0||0||0||1||.167|
|a-struck out for Catalanotto in the 7th|
|2B - Josh Hamilton (9, Baker)|
|RBI - Josh Hamilton 2 (25), David Murphy 3 (11)|
|2-OUT RBI - David Murphy 2 (7)|
|Team LOB - 12|
|DP - Young-Kinsler-Broussard, Vazquez-Kinsler-Broussard|
|PB - Jarrod Saltalamacchia (1)|
|E - Sidney Ponson (1, Throwing), Ramon Vazquez (1, Misplayed grounder), Michael Young (3, Throwing)|
|Jamey Wright (L,1-1)||0.2||2||1||1||1||0||0||4.50|
|IBB - Cuddyer by Eddie Guardado|
|Pitches-Strikes - Sidney Ponson 93-58, Jamey Wright 19-10, Eddie Guardado 13-6, Franklyn German 12-7, Scott Feldman 39-24|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Sidney Ponson 9-3, Eddie Guardado 1-1, Scott Feldman 5-2|
|Batters Faced - Sidney Ponson 24, Jamey Wright 5, Eddie Guardado 4, Franklyn German 3, Scott Feldman 11|
|Attendance - 33053|
|Game Time - 3:31|
|Temperature - 70|
|Umpires - Home - Andy Fletcher, First Base - Mike Reilly, Second Base - Bob Davidson, Third Base - Alfonso Marquez|