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Texas at Minnesota

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Texas (72-57)001000200381
Minnesota (65-65) «00020003x5101

Twins use three-run rally in eighth to sink Rangers

CBSSports.com wire reports
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Perched on third base, pinch-runner Carlos Gomez got his order: Go on any grounder.

The speedy Gomez streaked home ahead of Texas first baseman Hank Blalock's high throw in the eighth inning, and the Minnesota Twins took advantage of two late mistakes to beat the Rangers 5-3 Sunday.

Minnesota closer Joe Nathan then made a throwing error in the ninth that loaded the bases with no outs, but he escaped without allowing a run.

Trailing 3-2 in the eighth, the Twins used a walk, three singles, a squeeze bunt and an error to go ahead.

"We kind of knick-knacked them a little bit," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "A lot of good things happened."

Brendan Harris' RBI single off C.J. Wilson (4-6) tied the game and when Nelson Cruz mishandled the ball in left field, it put runners on second and third.

Gomez, running for Jason Kubel, was set to go on contact with Mike Redmond at the plate. Redmond grounded to Blalock, and Gomez scored for a 4-3 lead.

"I was going to make contact no matter what, Redmond said. "I was just trying to get it on the ground and Go-Go had a great jump. ... I think we put some pressure on them at the end of the game and it worked out for us."

Nick Punto followed with a good bunt down the first-base line and Harris beat the flip to the plate by Wilson.

"It's been tough trying to get rallies against them," Harris said. "We had to do whatever we could."

It was also an eighth inning that left Wilson without answers.

"Give up five or six ground balls and a lot of them turn into hits, there's nothing you can say," Wilson said. "Those guys are a speed-oriented team. It was like someone sacrificed a chicken for those hits. I made good pitches."

The rally allowed reliever Jon Rauch (1-0) to pick up the victory in his first appearance for the Twins after being acquired from Arizona on Friday.

In the ninth, Texas loaded the bases on a walk, single and a throwing error by Nathan. But Nathan struck out Elvis Andus, got Julio Borbon on a fly ball and retired Michael Young on a grounder for his 34th save.

The victory allowed the Twins to remain 4½ games back of Detroit in the AL Central. Texas fell 3½ games behind Boston in the AL wild-card race.

"It hurts," Texas manager Ron Washington said. "But we'll bounce back."

Cruz hit a two-run homer in the seventh off Scott Baker for a 3-2 lead.

Texas starter Kevin Millwood gave up two runs and six hits in six innings and was in position for his first win against Minnesota in 12 career appearances before the Twins rallied.

"If we could have won today, it seemed like it would have made it a pretty decent road trip playing three teams that play really well at home," Millwood said. "To win the last two series would have been big for us, I think. We just didn't pull it off. We have another month to go. We're definitely not out of it. We're not done. We just have to keep playing hard."

Baker, who is 10-1 since June 1, gave up three runs and six hits in seven innings.

The comeback allowed the Twins to win a series despite scoring only eight runs in the three games against the Rangers.

"It's really big winning two of three and four of seven [this month] against a good Texas Rangers team," said Gardenhire, whose team opens a key series against the Chicago White Sox on Monday night.

Notes

  • Washington said he is expecting pitcher Brandon McCarthy to start one of Texas' doubleheader games Tuesday against Toronto. McCarthy hasn't pitched since June 4 because of a stress fracture in his right shoulder blade. Over the first two months of the season, he started 11 games for the Rangers, going 5-2 with a 4.92 ERA.
  • Young extended his hitting streak to 17 games with a third-inning single.
 
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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Brendan Harris slides safely past Ivan Rodriguez and scores the final run in the Twins' big eighth inning.  (AP)
Brendan Harris slides safely past Ivan Rodriguez and scores the final run in the Twins' big eighth inning. (AP)

Players of the Game
Texas

N. Cruz
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
Minnesota

J. Kubel
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
 
Texas Rangers
Julio Borbon, DH5010005 .370
Michael Young, 3B5010013 .326
Josh Hamilton, RF4000023 .266
Marlon Byrd, CF4010001 .278
Ian Kinsler, 2B4110011 .250
Hank Blalock, 1B3000121 .236
Nelson Cruz, LF4122020 .266
Ivan Rodriguez, C3110100 .256
Elvis Andrus, SS4011014 .267
Totals3638329  
Batting
2B - Marlon Byrd (39, Rauch), Ivan Rodriguez (19, Baker)
HR - Nelson Cruz (28, Baker)
RBI - Nelson Cruz 2 (62), Elvis Andrus (27)
SB - Julio Borbon (11, 2nd base off Baker/Redmond)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Marlon Byrd 1
DP - Byrd-Kinsler
E - Nelson Cruz (4, Misplayed grounder)
Texas Rangers
Kevin Millwood 6622221 3.61
Jason Grilli (H,6) 1100110 4.24
C.J. Wilson (BS,4; L,4-6) 1333110 3.30
WP - Kevin Millwood (7)
Pitches-Strikes - Kevin Millwood 114-75, Jason Grilli 20-11, C.J. Wilson 27-18
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kevin Millwood 5-11, C.J. Wilson 3-0
Batters Faced - Kevin Millwood 26, Jason Grilli 4, C.J. Wilson 8
Minnesota Twins
Denard Span, CF-LF5020001 .308
Alexi Casilla, 2B4000103 .197
Joe Mauer, DH-C4000004 .367
Justin Morneau, 1B3210101 .290
Jason Kubel, LF3122100 .301
    Carlos Gomez, PR-CF0100000 .239
Michael Cuddyer, RF3010122 .275
Brendan Harris, 3B4111003 .266
Mike Redmond, C4011013 .256
    Orlando Cabrera, PR0000000 .276
Nick Punto, SS4021011 .213
Totals34510544  
Batting
2B - Denard Span (11, Grilli), Justin Morneau (30, Millwood), Nick Punto (9, Millwood)
3B - Mike Redmond (1, Millwood)
HR - Jason Kubel (21, Millwood)
RBI - Jason Kubel 2 (75), Brendan Harris (32), Mike Redmond (7), Nick Punto (29)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
E - Joe Nathan (1, Throwing)
Minnesota Twins
Scott Baker 7633161 4.44
Jon Rauch (W,3-2) 1100020 4.07
Joe Nathan (S,34) 1100110 1.74
Pitches-Strikes - Scott Baker 98-71, Jon Rauch 17-10, Joe Nathan 22-16
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Scott Baker 6-9, Joe Nathan 2-1
Batters Faced - Scott Baker 28, Jon Rauch 4, Joe Nathan 6
Game Information
Attendance - 29282
Game Time - 3:06
Temperature - 70
Umpires - Home - Bill Miller, First Base - Derryl Cousins, Second Base - Mike Estabrook, Third Base - Jim Joyce