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Martin sparks Rangers to comeback victory over Twins

CBSSports.com wire reports
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MINNEAPOLIS -- With their rotation depleted and the new slugger sidelined by a rash of injuries, the Texas Rangers have been forced to find alternate methods for winning.

It's working quite well in late May.

Leonys Martin doubled twice and scored three times, including the go-ahead run in the eighth inning, and the Rangers beat Minnesota Twins 5-4 on Thursday to win their second straight four-game series on the road.

"Those guys have had to grind, and everybody has had to have been used," said manager Ron Washington, who has seen starting pitchers Matt Harrison, Derek Holland and Martin Perez and first baseman Prince Fielder hit the disabled list as well as key hitters Jurickson Profar, Geovany Soto and others.

"So that's the way you play team baseball, and that's exactly what we're doing."

Shin-Soo Choo hit a three-run double in the second for the Rangers, but the Twins took a 4-3 lead in the fifth inning on Josh Willingham's first home run of the season, a no-doubt drive to the second deck above left-center field.

Then the role players took over for the Rangers.

Alexi Ogando (2-2) got four outs for the victory, and Joakim Soria retired the last two batters for his 10th save. Soria saved the last two games of the series after he had his first blown chance of the season in Tuesday's 4-3 loss.

Martin hit a leadoff double in the eighth against Casey Fien (3-2), moved up on a sacrifice bunt and sprinted home on a sacrifice fly by Rougned Odor, beating a sweep tag by catcher Josmil Pinto. The throw by center fielder Danny Santana, a rookie shortstop playing out of position, was off the plate and up the line.

"He has to make a perfect throw to throw me out in that situation," Martin said.

The Rangers tied it at 4 when Martin doubled and scored on Robinson Chirinos' single in the sixth. Deduno gave up nine hits while striking out two and was removed with one out in that inning.

With eight wins in their last 11 games, including three of four at Detroit last week, the Rangers have begun to find their stride.

That was evident in the second inning, when bases-loaded, nobody-out situations for both teams went opposite ways.

Deduno moved within one strike of escaping without any damage after an infield popup and a strikeout. But Choo, who served as the designated hitter to give his sore left ankle a break from left field with the short turnaround from the night before, drove a 2-2 curveball down the left-field line.

"I have to be better," Deduno said.

Alex Rios, who stretched his hitting streak to 12 games, started that rally with a sharp single. Martin scored easily from first base to put the Rangers ahead 3-0.

"I was thinking home plate all the way," Martin said.

Nick Martinez dodged trouble in the bottom of the frame when Pinto sent a soft roller back to the mound. After a short throw home for a forceout, Martinez got Eduardo Escobar to line hard into a double play.

The rookie was charged with more than three earned runs for the first time in five starts. He allowed nine hits and walked two in 5 2-3 innings.

"It was a learning experience for him today, to go out there and keep his team in the ballgame when he didn't have his best stuff. That was awesome right there," Washington said.

Trevor Plouffe and Willingham hit RBI singles in the third, but the Twins have only 14 runs in their last seven games, going 6 for 52 with runners in scoring position.

"That's the main focus, getting guys on, but we can't get them in," second baseman Brian Dozier said.

NOTES: Washington held SS Elvis Andrus out of the lineup to rest for the first time this season. ... Deduno walked Martin, ending a streak by Twins pitchers of 131 straight batters without an unintentional walk. ... The Rangers start a three-game series Friday at Washington, with RHP Colby Lewis (4-3, 5.10 ERA) pitching opposite Nationals RHP Stephen Strasburg (3-4, 3.42 ERA). ... The Twins will be in New York for three games, with RHP Ricky Nolasco (2-5, 6.12 ERA) taking the mound Friday against Yankees LHP Vidal Nuno (1-1, 5.49 ERA).

 
Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
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Leonys Martin doubles twice and scores three times, including the go-ahead run in the eighth. (USATSI)
Leonys Martin doubles twice and scores three times, including the go-ahead run in the eighth. (USATSI)

Players of the Game
Texas

L. Martin
AB 3
R 3
H 2
HR 0
RBI 0
Minnesota

J. Willingham
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
 

Related Video

Texas Rangers
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Shin-Soo Choo, DH4023000 .297
Luis Sardinas, SS5010014 .267
Mitch Moreland, 1B5010031 .270
Adrian Beltre, 3B5020002 .290
Alex Rios, RF5110013 .325
Michael Choice, LF4120001 .210
   Dan Robertson, LF0000000 .150
Leonys Martin, CF3320102 .283
Robinson Chirinos, C3011003 .225
Rougned Odor, 2B3001014 .275
Nick Martinez, P0000000 .000
   Alexi Ogando, P0000000 .000
   Jason Frasor, P0000000 .000
   Neal Cotts, P0000000 .000
   Joakim Soria, P0000000 .000
Totals37512516  
Batting
2B - Shin-Soo Choo (9, Deduno), Leonys Martin 2 (4, Deduno)
SF - Rougned Odor (1)
SH - Robinson Chirinos (3)
RBI - Shin-Soo Choo 3 (18), Robinson Chirinos (10), Rougned Odor (9)
2-OUT RBI - Shin-Soo Choo 3 (6)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - Moreland-Sardinas
Texas Rangers
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Nick Martinez 5.2944221 2.75
Alexi Ogando (W,2-2) 1.1100220 5.84
Jason Frasor (H,8) 1000020 2.00
Neal Cotts (H,7) 0.1000000 3.63
Joakim Soria (S,10) 0.2100010 2.37
WP - Nick Martinez (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Nick Martinez 108-67, Alexi Ogando 35-22, Jason Frasor 14-8, Neal Cotts 4-3, Joakim Soria 7-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Nick Martinez 2-12, Alexi Ogando 1-1, Jason Frasor 1-0, Neal Cotts 1-0
Batters Faced - Nick Martinez 27, Alexi Ogando 7, Jason Frasor 3, Neal Cotts 1, Joakim Soria 3
Minnesota Twins
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Brian Dozier, 2B4000112 .243
Joe Mauer, 1B5110002 .275
Trevor Plouffe, 3B5121010 .247
Oswaldo Arcia, RF5030002 .257
   Aaron Hicks, PR0000000 .195
Josh Willingham, DH3123211 .276
Jason Kubel, LF3000124 .238
Josmil Pinto, C4000015 .233
Eduardo Escobar, SS4000003 .324
Danny Santana, CF4130010 .368
Samuel Deduno, P0000000 .000
   Brian Duensing, P0000000 .000
   Anthony Swarzak, P0000000 .000
   Casey Fien, P0000000 .000
   Matt Guerrier, P0000000 .000
Totals37411447  
Batting
2B - Trevor Plouffe (19, Martinez), Oswaldo Arcia (3, Martinez)
HR - Josh Willingham (1, Martinez)
RBI - Trevor Plouffe (31), Josh Willingham 3 (4)
2-OUT RBI - Josh Willingham 3 (3)
SB - Danny Santana (1, 2nd base off Ogando/Chirinos)
Team LOB - 10
Minnesota Twins
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Samuel Deduno 5.1944120 3.86
Brian Duensing 1000010 1.33
Anthony Swarzak 0.2100010 4.81
Casey Fien (L,3-2) 1111000 2.05
Matt Guerrier 1100020 3.24
HBP - Choo (by Brian Duensing)
Pitches-Strikes - Samuel Deduno 102-69, Brian Duensing 17-11, Anthony Swarzak 10-6, Casey Fien 19-11, Matt Guerrier 11-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Samuel Deduno 8-6, Brian Duensing 2-0, Anthony Swarzak 1-0, Casey Fien 2-1
Batters Faced - Samuel Deduno 26, Brian Duensing 4, Anthony Swarzak 3, Casey Fien 4, Matt Guerrier 4
Game Information
Attendance - 28170
Game Time - 3:34
Temperature - 76
Umpires - Home - Jerry Layne, First Base - Mike DiMuro, Second Base - Mike Estabrook, Third Base - Pat Hoberg