Texas at Minnesota

W: N. Tepesch (2-1) L: V. Worley (0-3) S: J. Nathan (7)
HR: TEX - None   MIN - J. Willingham (3)

Rangers keep rocking with strong start from Tepesch

CBSSports.com wire reports

MINNEAPOLIS -- A night after scoring a season-high nine runs in one inning, the bleary-eyed Texas Rangers struggled to push across two all night in Minnesota following a late-night, cross-country flight.

It was more than enough run support for well-rested rookie starter Nick Tepesch.

Tepesch, who flew ahead of the team the night before to get a good night's sleep, pitched six strong innings for his second win to lead the first-place Rangers over the Twins 2-1 on Thursday night.

The 24-year-old righty cruised through Minnesota's lineup for most of the night. He held Joe Mauer, Josh Willingham and Justin Morneau to a combined 2 for 11. Mauer was held hitless for only the fourth time this season.

"Their two, three, four hitters are about the best you'll see in Major League Baseball," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "Going through them three times, he did a good job."

Tepesch (2-1) allowed five hits in 6 2-3 innings. He shut the Twins out through six before Willingham homered in the seventh inning to make it 2-1. Tepesch had allowed only two baserunners up to that point and showed no lingering effects from taking a liner off his right forearm in his previous start against Seattle last weekend.

"I didn't feel like I was extra out of ordinary," Tepesch said. "I felt like I commanded my pitches pretty well, and I felt like I was pretty good tonight."

Elvis Andrus and Nelson Cruz each drove in runs, and Ian Kinsler went 3 for 5 with a double to help the Rangers win for the sixth time in seven games.

Minnesota starter Vance Worley (0-3) allowed two runs and six hits in five innings. Minnesota tried to cobble together two late rallies, but Willingham hit into a bases-loaded double play in the eighth, and Ryan Doumit's long fly ball with one on and two out in the ninth fell just short in left field.

"We were one hit away," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said.

The Rangers landed in the Twin Cities at 6 a.m. on Thursday and didn't look nearly as good against Worley as they did the night before against the Angels in Los Angeles.

They didn't need to with Tepesch retiring the first 12 batters he faced before Morneau singled up the middle to lead off the fifth.

"The kid had a live fastball, a live arm," Gardenhire said. "The ball was jumping on our hitters. He was cutting it and had a nice little breaking ball."

The Twins finally got to Tepesch in the seventh when Willingham drove a fastball 351 feet into the left-field seats. Chris Parmelee and Trevor Plouffe each followed with two-out singles to chase Tepesch. Robbie Ross relieved to get Doumit on a groundout to end the inning.

Tanner Scheppers induced Willingham into his eighth-inning double play, and Joe Nathan pitched the ninth for his seventh save in as many chances.

Cruz, who has RBIs in five-straight games, drove in his club-leading 18th run of the season in the second on a single that scored Adrian Beltre from third. Andrus made it 2-0 in the fifth with a run-scoring double.

"Two was enough," Cruz said.


  • Tepesch has not walked a batter since walking three in the second inning of his debut on April 9.
  • Andrus has no errors in his last 80 chances, the longest streak of any shortstop in the AL.
  • Worley hasn't won a start since Aug. 1 of last season, when he played for Philadelphia.
  • The Rangers pitching staff has allowed two runs or less in nine of 21 games.
  • Twins CF Aaron Hicks is hitting just .086, but has reached base in seven straight games.
  • The Rangers will try for their third-straight win on Friday night when they send right-hander Justin Grimm (1-0) to the mound. Scott Diamond (1-1) will pitch for the Twins.
Copyright 2017 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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Rangers starter Nick Tepesch pitches six strong innings for his second win of the young season. (USATSI)
Rangers starter Nick Tepesch pitches six strong innings for his second win of the young season. (USATSI)

Players of the Game

N. Tepesch
IP 6.2
H 5
ER 1
BB 0
K 1

J. Willingham
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1

Related Video

Texas Rangers
Ian Kinsler, 2B5030001 .301
Elvis Andrus, SS5011003 .233
Lance Berkman, DH4000013 .323
Adrian Beltre, 3B4110002 .241
A.J. Pierzynski, C4010001 .296
Nelson Cruz, RF3021100 .313
David Murphy, LF2000221 .190
Mitch Moreland, 1B4010023 .208
Leonys Martin, CF3110005 .238
   a- Craig Gentry, PH-CF1000000 .235
a-grounded out for Martin in the 9th
2B - Ian Kinsler (2, Fien), Elvis Andrus (2, Worley), Adrian Beltre (5, Worley)
RBI - Elvis Andrus (8), Nelson Cruz (18)
2-OUT RBI - Elvis Andrus (5)
CS - Nelson Cruz (1, 2nd base by Worley/Mauer)
Team LOB - 9
DP - Andrus-Kinsler-Moreland, Andrus-Kinsler-Moreland
Texas Rangers
Nick Tepesch (W,2-1) 6.2511011 2.53
Robbie Ross (H,4) 0.1000000 0.96
Tanner Scheppers (H,4) 1200100 0.00
Joe Nathan (S,7) 1100010 1.08
IBB - Mauer by Tanner Scheppers
Pitches-Strikes - Nick Tepesch 90-65, Robbie Ross 3-3, Tanner Scheppers 21-10, Joe Nathan 13-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Nick Tepesch 8-10, Robbie Ross 1-0, Tanner Scheppers 1-1, Joe Nathan 1-1
Batters Faced - Nick Tepesch 24, Robbie Ross 1, Tanner Scheppers 5, Joe Nathan 4
Minnesota Twins
Brian Dozier, 2B4010011 .236
Joe Mauer, C3000100 .351
Josh Willingham, LF4111001 .235
Justin Morneau, 1B4010010 .236
Chris Parmelee, RF4010000 .226
Trevor Plouffe, 3B4020001 .224
    Jamey Carroll, PR0000000 .235
Oswaldo Arcia, DH2000001 .150
   a- Ryan Doumit, PH-DH2000003 .197
Aaron Hicks, CF3010000 .086
Pedro Florimon, SS2000001 .258
   b- Wilkin Ramirez, PH1010000 .357
    Eduardo Escobar, PR-SS0000000 .480
a-grounded out for Arcia in the 7th
b-singled for Florimon in the 8th
2B - Brian Dozier (1, Scheppers)
HR - Josh Willingham (3, Tepesch)
RBI - Josh Willingham (10)
Team LOB - 6
Outfield Assists - Chris Parmelee 1
DP - Mauer-Dozier
Minnesota Twins
Vance Worley (L,0-3) 5622230 6.38
Josh Roenicke 2300110 1.69
Brian Duensing 1.2000010 2.84
Casey Fien 0.1100000 4.70
Pitches-Strikes - Vance Worley 102-63, Josh Roenicke 35-22, Brian Duensing 16-12, Casey Fien 4-3
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Vance Worley 8-2, Josh Roenicke 2-3, Brian Duensing 2-2
Batters Faced - Vance Worley 21, Josh Roenicke 10, Brian Duensing 5, Casey Fien 2
Game Information
Attendance - 25459
Game Time - 2:53
Temperature - 51
Umpires - Home - Dan Bellino, First Base - Ted Barrett, Second Base - Alfonso Marquez, Third Base - Mike DiMuro