|Minnesota (11-10) «||0||0||0||1||0||2||2||0||x||5||9||0|
|More on Rangers-Twins|
|More MLB coverage|
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."
"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.
Casey Fien pitched the ninth after Correia was removed after throwing 102 pitches, 65 for strikes.
|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|
Nike Minnesota Twins Practice T-Shirt - Red
$27.95 Shop Now!
|Ian Kinsler, 2B||4||0||1||0||0||0||3||.313|
|Elvis Andrus, SS||4||0||1||0||0||0||3||.242|
|Lance Berkman, DH||3||0||0||0||1||0||1||.319|
|Adrian Beltre, 3B||4||0||0||0||0||1||2||.221|
|A.J. Pierzynski, C||4||0||1||0||0||0||0||.295|
|Nelson Cruz, RF||4||0||0||0||0||2||3||.309|
|David Murphy, LF||4||0||0||0||0||0||1||.176|
|Mitch Moreland, 1B||3||0||2||0||0||0||0||.241|
|Leonys Martin, CF||3||0||2||0||0||0||0||.261|
|Outfield Assists - Leonys Martin 1|
|DP - Andrus-Kinsler-Moreland|
|Alexi Ogando (L,2-2)||6||4||3||3||2||3||1||3.38|
|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|
|Brian Dozier, 2B||4||0||2||1||0||0||1||.258|
|Joe Mauer, C||4||0||0||0||0||0||1||.302|
|Josh Willingham, DH||2||2||0||0||2||1||0||.246|
|Justin Morneau, 1B||4||1||2||2||0||0||0||.263|
|Chris Parmelee, RF||3||0||1||1||0||0||0||.217|
|Oswaldo Arcia, LF||4||0||1||0||0||2||2||.194|
|Aaron Hicks, CF||3||1||1||0||0||1||0||.118|
|Eduardo Escobar, SS||3||1||0||0||0||0||2||.438|
|Jamey Carroll, 3B||3||0||2||1||0||0||0||.300|
|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|
|Outfield Assists - Aaron Hicks 1|
|Kevin Correia (W,3-1)||8||6||0||0||1||2||0||2.23|
|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|
|Attendance - 35751|
|Game Time - 2:35|
|Temperature - 74|
|Umpires - Home - Mike DiMuro, First Base - Dan Bellino, Second Base - Ted Barrett, Third Base - Alfonso Marquez|