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Texas at Minnesota

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Texas (16-9)000000000070
Minnesota (11-10) «00010220x590

Rangers drop consecutive games for first time

CBSSports.com wire reports
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Thanks to another strong outing from Kevin Correia, the Minnesota Twins are ahead of where they were at this point last season.

Way ahead.

Correia pitched eight sharp innings, Justin Morneau homered and the Twins beat Texas 5-0 Sunday, handing the Rangers consecutive losses for the first time this year.

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It took the Twins 37 games to reach 11 wins last season. After Correia's big day, they're 11-10.

"That's our goal, to surprise some people and make a push in this division," said Correia, who allowed six hits and only one runner to reach third base while lowering his ERA to 2.23. "Right now, being above .500 is a good sign, but we got a long ways to go."

Mitch Moreland and Leonys Martin each had two hits for the Rangers.

"He just put the ball where he wanted. Cutter, changeup, sinker," said A.J. Pierzynski, who caught Correia when the right-hander was in San Francisco. "He's kind of shortened his slider and throws more cutters and changeups now. Good for him. He's really turned into a good big league pitcher."

Correia (3-1) has pitched at least seven innings in each of his first five starts for the Twins after going seven or more only three times all of last season.

The soft-tossing veteran signed a two-year, $10 million contract with Minnesota in the offseason and has been the Twins best starter. Using a fastball that rarely broke 90 mph and a variety of offspeed pitches, Correia retired the first seven batters and set down 11 of the last 12.

"Getting balls hit to people right now," Correia said. "Right now it's just going my way."

Alexi Ogando (2-2) allowed three runs on four hits over six innings.

Ogando looked just as sharp as Correia before walking Josh Willingham in the sixth. On the very next pitch, Ogando hung a slider and Morneau lined it into the right-field bleachers for his second home run, giving the Twins a 3-0 lead.

"He had been throwing him breaking balls all day, but he wasn't throwing it for strikes," Washington said. "He tried to get one over for a strike. Morneau was sitting on it."

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire was ejected in the seventh after arguing with third base umpire Alfonso Marquez about a force play on a bunt.

Gardenhire kicked the dirt around home plate and angrily took off his sunglasses as he walked off the field to a standing ovation from the Target Field crowd.

The manager was in a happier mood after the game, thanks to Correia and the fact that Twins pitchers have allowed just two runs in the last 18 innings.

"We went out and made some good signings," he said. "Hopefully for guys that throw the ball over the plate, give us a chance to stay in the ballgame, get deep in the game. For the most part, they've been doing that."

The fans remained fired up after Jamey Carroll lined a single up the middle that scored Aaron Hicks and made it 4-0 immediately after the ejection.

Brian Dozier followed with another RBI single off Joe Ortiz, one of three relievers Texas used in the inning.

Casey Fien pitched the ninth after Correia was removed after throwing 102 pitches, 65 for strikes.

Notes

  • It was Gardenhire's first ejection this season and the second time he's been tossed by Marquez in his career.
  • Correia has one career shutout, against the Reds on April 18, 2011, when he pitched for the Pirates.
  • At 49-25, the Rangers have the best April record in baseball since 2011.
  • Five of Ogando's six starts this season have come on the road.
  • Twins star Joe Mauer was 0 for 15 in the series, dropping his average from .366 to .302.
  • The Twins start a 10-game road trip at Detroit on Monday with Mike Pelfrey on the mound. Despite getting 8.47 runs of support per nine innings, Pelfrey is just 2-2 with a 7.94 ERA.
  • The Rangers are off Monday and host the White Sox on Tuesday. Yu Darvish is scheduled to start the series opener.
 
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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The Twins' Kevin Correia throws eight sharp innings, allowing only one runner to reach third base, to defeat the Rangers. (Getty Images)
The Twins' Kevin Correia throws eight sharp innings, allowing only one runner to reach third base, to defeat the Rangers. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
Minnesota

J. Morneau
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
Texas

A. Ogando
IP 6.0
H 4
ER 3
BB 2
K 3
 
Texas Rangers
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Ian Kinsler, 2B4010003 .313
Elvis Andrus, SS4010003 .242
Lance Berkman, DH3000101 .319
Adrian Beltre, 3B4000012 .221
A.J. Pierzynski, C4010000 .295
Nelson Cruz, RF4000023 .309
David Murphy, LF4000001 .176
Mitch Moreland, 1B3020000 .241
Leonys Martin, CF3020000 .261
Totals3307013  
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Leonys Martin 1
DP - Andrus-Kinsler-Moreland
Texas Rangers
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Alexi Ogando (L,2-2) 6433231 3.38
Joe Ortiz 0.1322000 4.05
Jason Frasor0100000 2.84
Robbie Ross 1.2100010 0.82
Pitches-Strikes - Alexi Ogando 97-66, Joe Ortiz 14-10, Jason Frasor 4-2, Robbie Ross 21-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Alexi Ogando 4-10, Joe Ortiz 1-0, Robbie Ross 1-2
Batters Faced - Alexi Ogando 23, Joe Ortiz 4, Jason Frasor 1, Robbie Ross 5
Minnesota Twins
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Brian Dozier, 2B4021001 .258
Joe Mauer, C4000001 .302
Josh Willingham, DH2200210 .246
Justin Morneau, 1B4122000 .263
Chris Parmelee, RF3011000 .217
Oswaldo Arcia, LF4010022 .194
Aaron Hicks, CF3110010 .118
Eduardo Escobar, SS3100002 .438
Jamey Carroll, 3B3021000 .300
Totals3059524  
Batting
HR - Justin Morneau (2, Ogando)
SF - Chris Parmelee (2)
RBI - Brian Dozier (8), Justin Morneau 2 (11), Chris Parmelee (6), Jamey Carroll (2)
2-OUT RBI - Justin Morneau 2 (7)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Aaron Hicks 1
Minnesota Twins
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Kevin Correia (W,3-1) 8600120 2.23
Casey Fien 1100010 4.00
Pitches-Strikes - Kevin Correia 102-65, Casey Fien 18-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kevin Correia 13-8
Batters Faced - Kevin Correia 30, Casey Fien 4
Game Information
Attendance - 35751
Game Time - 2:35
Temperature - 74
Umpires - Home - Mike DiMuro, First Base - Dan Bellino, Second Base - Ted Barrett, Third Base - Alfonso Marquez