MINNEAPOLIS -- Bobby Korecky has quietly been biding his time since being called up from Triple-A, patiently waiting for a chance to show what he's got.
"I've just been waiting to make an impression," Minnesota's rookie reliever said. "I was just waiting for the situation because you never know when you're going to get one."
It's hard to imagine him making a better one.
Korecky became the first Twins pitcher to get a hit in an American League game since the designated hitter rule was enacted in 1973, and also picked up his first career victory as Minnesota rallied for a 7-6 victory in 12 innings against the Texas Rangers on Tuesday night.
Howie Clark's single over the head of Josh Hamilton in center field in the 12th scored Carlos Gomez for the game winner and Korecky bailed the Twins out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the 11th, following with a perfect 12th in a game he'll never forget.
"We pretty much threw everything out there," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "It was pretty special."
Then with pitcher Livan Hernandez on deck ready to pinch hit, Clark sent one over the head of a leaping Hamilton, who was playing in with the speedy Gomez in scoring position.
"The Twins have always, when they called players up, they've used them," said Clark, himself a recent callup from Triple-A. "They tell you that in Rochester you are a step away and you are going to play. For us to have a contribution, it's pretty special."
Frank Catalanotto had three hits and Hamilton hit his 11th home run of the season for the Rangers, who rallied from a 5-2 deficit to take a 6-5 lead into the ninth inning. But closer C.J. Wilson's troubles continued as he gave up the tying run on a single by Mauer in the ninth.
Wilson has now given up 11 earned runs in his past 11 1/3 innings and hasn't recorded a save since May 7.
"I cost the team a win tonight. Straight up," said Wilson, who vowed not to dwell on it.
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire simply didn't have any other options in the 11th after pinch-hitting for second baseman Alexi Casilla and shortstop Adam Everett in the ninth. Those decisions forced him to move Brendan Harris from designated hitter to shortstop in the 10th, thereby forfeiting the DH.
"I said, 'You think you can hit a first-pitch fastball?' " Gardenhire said. "He said, 'Absolutely."'
So Korecky stepped up with one out in the 11th and slapped the first pitch from Frank Francisco through the hole between first and second for a base hit. He reached third base after a hit by Harris and a walk to Joe Mauer, but was stranded there when Justin Morneau struck out looking and Michael Cuddyer grounded into a fielder's choice.
Casilla's first career home run gave the Twins a 5-2 lead in the fourth, but Milton Bradley had an RBI double and scored on a single by David Murphy to give the Rangers a 6-5 lead before Wilson blew it in the ninth.
"Going from the ninth on we had some opportunities and couldn't get the hit we needed," manager Ron Washington said. "It's a tough game to lose. We fought back, but couldn't close it out."
Things got crazier still in the 10th when Gardenhire tried to pull reliever Juan Rincon with a 2-0 count on Ramon Vazquez. But pitching coach Rick Anderson had already visited the mound in the at-bat, and the umpires sent Gardenhire back to the dugout.
Rincon walked Vazquez to load the bases with one out, and Gardenhire brought in Korecky.
Gardenhire admitted to being frazzled when he jumped out to pull Rincon the first time, perhaps caught up in the fireworks of the moment.
"I'm going, 'What is going on?' " Gardenhire said. "It must be a full moon out there."
- Rangers LF Brandon Boggs had some bad luck in the fifth when his high pop fly hit the Teflon roof along the first baseline and fell into Justin Morneau's glove near the seats in foul territory. That's a live ball in this quirky stadium, and he was ruled out.
- Washington said Bradley won't play the outfield on the turf at Minnesota or Tampa Bay. He'll try to give Hamilton one day off this series to limit his turf time, too.
- Gardenhire said RHP Scott Baker (shoulder) "felt something" during a bullpen session and will throw another one before getting the green light to throw a batting practice session.