Texas at Minnesota

W: G. Perkins (2-0) L: J. Soria (1-2)
HR: TEX - None   MIN - O. Arcia (1)

Twins get to closer Soria in ninth to beat Rangers

CBSSports.com wire reports

MINNEAPOLIS -- Eduardo Nunez's two-out single for Minnesota had just tied the game, and the ninth inning was about to end on a routine ground ball.

What happened next was anything but by the book.

Texas closer Joakim Soria bobbled a slow-bouncing dribbler by Danny Santana to the left of the mound, allowing Nunez to score the winning run for the Twins in a 4-3 victory over the Rangers on Tuesday night.

"I'm the guy getting comfortable on this team. I'm the new guy here. I try to help the team to win, and I did it," said Nunez, who celebrated his clutch hit that drove in Oswaldo Arcia with a double-arm raise after arriving at second when the throw home from right fielder Alex Rios was up the line.

Nunez said he took the extra base to give Arcia, whom he aptly described as "not fast," a better chance to score in case the throw was cut off. Then came a grounder to third, where Nunez stopped short as Adrian Beltre fielded the ball.

Nunez scooted right and circled around to the back of the bag to bring the safe call from umpire Mike DiMuro. The Rangers argued Nunez should have been out for going more than 3 feet out of the baseline. Speaking to a pool reporter afterward, crew chief Jerry Layne said Nunez was not guilty because Beltre never attempted to tag Nunez until the scramble began.

"If he would have stuck his glove out to try to make an attempt, we have a different play," Layne said. "Ninety-nine percent of the time, they attempt to make a tag. He never made an attempt."

Beltre was still angry afterward.

"Last year I ran out to left field in Houston and they called me out. Nobody tagged me. So this guy is safe? I just don't know where the line is," Beltre said.

Both Beltre and manager Ron Washington acknowledged the right play was for Beltre to throw to first for the sure out.

"It was right there for us. We just didn't put it away, and that's on all of us," Washington said.

The day began ominously for the Rangers when star pitcher Yu Darvish was scratched from his scheduled start with stiffness in his neck. Fill-in Scott Baker gave up three hits over six innings and Chris Gimenez hit a tiebreaking two-out RBI single in the sixth off Phil Hughes.

But Soria (1-2) took his first blown save in nine chances with a shaky ninth inning patched together by the Twins, who ended their four-game losing streak. Arcia hit a one-out double off the wall in right-center, just a few feet shy of where he homered off Baker in the second inning, and chugged home on the clutch hit by Nunez.

Then two batters later, the Twins won on the softest of winning contact.

"Oh, I feel a little scared of Arcia. He's crazy," the rookie Santana said, recounting the slugger's bear hug amid the swarm.

Glen Perkins (2-0) pitched a scoreless ninth for the victory, stranding Rios after a leadoff triple that Santana, normally a shortstop, appeared to misplay in center field and couldn't catch after getting twisted around.

Hughes had his winning streak stopped at five. Over his last five turns, he had a 1.08 ERA and a 27-0 strikeout-walk ratio.

Aaron Hicks saved Hughes from a huge deficit by sprinting to the warning track and snagging the ball with a perfectly timed leap above and beyond the center field wall to steal a three-run homer from Donnie Murphy, who settled for a sacrifice fly. Rougned Odor followed with an RBI double to get one of those runs back.

Shortstop Eduardo Escobar and left fielder Josh Willingham let a ball by Mitch Moreland bounce between them for a single to start the sixth.

After giving up six runs in six innings in his only other start this season, last Friday at Detroit, Baker was supposed to resume a role as a long reliever. But he was in control the entire night against his former team.


Washington passed Bobby Valentine on the franchise's all-time list for most games managed with 1,187. ... The Rangers will reinstate LHP Joe Saunders (0-1, 9.82) from the DL to start on Wednesday night, with RHP Kyle Gibson (4-4, 4.68 ERA) pitching for the Twins. ... Saunders was hit by a line drive on the left ankle in his first start on April 4, and after nearly two months of rehabilitation he will pitch with no restriction, Washington said. ... Gibson is 3-1 with a 2.25 ERA in four starts this year at home. ... Hughes has not walked a batter in six starts.

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Oswaldo Arcia scores the tying run in an eventful ninth inning that propels the Twins to a walk-off victory.  (USATSI)
Oswaldo Arcia scores the tying run in an eventful ninth inning that propels the Twins to a walk-off victory. (USATSI)

Players of the Game

A. Rios
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 0

O. Arcia
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 1

Related Video

Texas Rangers
Shin-Soo Choo, LF4000011 .299
Elvis Andrus, SS4010000 .260
Mitch Moreland, 1B4110001 .273
Adrian Beltre, 3B4010001 .288
Alex Rios, RF4130001 .330
Chris Gimenez, C4121012 .429
Leonys Martin, CF3000013 .271
Donnie Murphy, DH3001002 .218
Rougned Odor, 2B3011000 .298
Scott Baker, P0000000 .000
   Aaron Poreda, P0000000 .000
   Alexi Ogando, P0000000 .000
   Joakim Soria, P0000000 .000
2B - Alex Rios (13, Hughes), Rougned Odor (2, Hughes)
3B - Alex Rios (6, Perkins)
SF - Donnie Murphy (3)
SH - Leonys Martin (6)
RBI - Chris Gimenez (5), Donnie Murphy (10), Rougned Odor (8)
2-OUT RBI - Chris Gimenez (4), Rougned Odor (5)
Team LOB - 5
E - Joakim Soria (1, Misplayed grounder)
Texas Rangers
Scott Baker 6322041 5.19
Aaron Poreda (H,4) 0.1000010 3.38
Alexi Ogando (H,7) 1.2100120 6.17
Joakim Soria (L,1-2; BS,1) 0.2221110 2.60
IBB - Escobar by Joakim Soria
WP - Alexi Ogando (4)
Pitches-Strikes - Scott Baker 80-54, Aaron Poreda 4-3, Alexi Ogando 28-18, Joakim Soria 28-17
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Scott Baker 5-9, Alexi Ogando 1-2, Joakim Soria 2-1
Batters Faced - Scott Baker 21, Aaron Poreda 1, Alexi Ogando 7, Joakim Soria 7
Minnesota Twins
Brian Dozier, 2B3110110 .247
Joe Mauer, 1B4011012 .283
Trevor Plouffe, 3B4000021 .243
Oswaldo Arcia, RF4221010 .192
Josh Willingham, DH4000011 .208
Chris Parmelee, LF2000000 .192
   a-Eduardo Nunez, PH-LF2111000 .257
Kurt Suzuki, C4010000 .297
Eduardo Escobar, SS2000100 .340
Aaron Hicks, CF2000010 .195
   b-Josmil Pinto, PH1000011 .241
   Danny Santana, CF1000000 .344
Phil Hughes, P0000000 .000
   Casey Fien, P0000000 .000
   Glen Perkins, P0000000 .000
a-flied out for Parmelee in the 7th
b-struck out for Hicks in the 8th
2B - Brian Dozier (6, Baker), Joe Mauer (6, Baker), Oswaldo Arcia (2, Soria)
HR - Oswaldo Arcia (1, Baker)
SH - Eduardo Escobar (2)
RBI - Joe Mauer (15), Oswaldo Arcia (2), Eduardo Nunez (5)
2-OUT RBI - Joe Mauer (3), Eduardo Nunez (3)
Team LOB - 6
DP - Escobar-Dozier-Mauer
Minnesota Twins
Phil Hughes 7833030 3.23
Casey Fien 1000000 1.71
Glen Perkins (W,2-0) 1100000 3.09
Pitches-Strikes - Phil Hughes 98-65, Casey Fien 9-5, Glen Perkins 14-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Phil Hughes 8-9, Casey Fien 2-1, Glen Perkins 2-1
Batters Faced - Phil Hughes 28, Casey Fien 3, Glen Perkins 4
Game Information
Attendance - 22702
Game Time - 2:43
Temperature - 69
Umpires - Home - Mike Estabrook, First Base - Pat Hoberg, Second Base - Jerry Layne, Third Base - Mike DiMuro