Pineda looks good again, Twins beat Rangers 7-4

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Patience with Michael Pineda during a lengthy rehab is paying off for the Minnesota Twins.

Pineda struck out a season-high nine over six efficient innings, Jason Castro had two hits and three RBIs, and Minnesota beat the Texas Rangers 7-4 on Saturday.

Pineda (6-4) gave up five hits and a run on a solo homer in the sixth inning by Elvis Andrus. The big right-hander had his most strikeouts since 2017 with the New York Yankees prior to a Tommy John surgery that sidelined him for all of 2018.

''He missed a significant amount of time, but he's been able to come back and find himself and ... do it in different ways,'' Minnesota manager Rocco Baldelli said. ''He's not the exact same pitcher that he was five years ago. He's a different pitcher. But he's an equally as good pitcher.''

Marwin Gonzalez homered for the Twins, who lead the majors with 166 home runs this year and matched their total from last season. Gonzalez is the 10th Minnesota player to reach double digits in homers, one shy of a club record set in 2016.

Taylor Rogers picked up his 12th save with 2 1/3 scoreless innings and five strikeouts.

Jesse Chavez (3-4) surrendered five runs - four earned - on five hits and two walks over five innings for Texas, which has lost six of seven.

''I think that something that we were doing, especially in June, was setting the tone of the game early,'' Andrus said. ''Scoring a lot of runs early. Right now, it's not happening. I think we need to get back on that.''

The Twins signed Pineda to a two-year contract in free agency last year, knowing the first year of the deal would mostly be spent in rehab. He was pitching in rehab games last season before being shut down with a knee injury.

Coming back this season, the 30-year-old struggled to a 6.21 ERA in six starts through the end of April but started to show steady progress. He's allowed one run in four of his last five starts with a 2.83 ERA over that span.

''After you have surgery, it's a long time for the recovery, so you have to work so hard to be a hundred percent and try to help your team,'' Pineda said. ''The last couple games I've pitched really good games and helped my team win the game, so I'm happy for that.''

Shin-Soo Choo had three hits and Willie Calhoun added a two-run homer for the Rangers, who have lost six of seven.

''When you fall behind in games, it does take you out of your game plan a little bit,'' Texas manager Chris Woodward said. ''I know we're inching closer to the break. I'm not going to obviously use it as an excuse, but our guys have been grinding pretty hard, physically, mentally. So hopefully we can come out tomorrow, finish on a really solid note to end the first half.''

TOUGH START

Chavez was making his seventh start of the season and the third straight in a traditional starting role. He had been used as an opener four times before being taking on full starts. He had allowed three earned runs in 19 innings as a starter for a 1.42 ERA coming into the game.

ROSTER MOVES

Texas selected the contract of right-hander Pedro Payano before the game and Payano made his major league debut with a scoreless inning of work. Locke St. John was optioned to Triple-A Nashville and infielder Patrick Wisdom was designated for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster.

Minnesota was forced to make moves after the game. Baldelli said outfielder LaMonte Wade Jr., who was called up earlier in the day with C.J. Cron going on the injured list, will also be placed on the injured list after he dislocated his right thumb when he crashed into the wall while pursuing Andrus' home run. Jake Cave will be recalled from Triple-A Rochester.

The Twins also plan to option right-hander Kohl Stewart back to Triple-A to add another pitcher for Sunday's game. Left-hander Devin Smeltzer, who made his major league debut earlier this season, will return to Minnesota.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Rangers: All-Star LHP Mike Minor will have his final start before the break skipped Sunday in order to give him extra rest. Minor won't pitch in the All-Star Game.

Twins: Cron was placed on the 10-day injured list with right thumb inflammation. Baldelli said Cron has been dealing with the injury but finally needed to give the thumb time to heal. The team hopes Cron will be ready to return after the 10 days are up.

UP NEXT

Rangers: With Minor being skipped, Texas plans to recall LHP Joe Palumbo from Triple-A Nashville. Palumbo has started two games for the Rangers this season with a 16.50 ERA. The team announced that reliever Jose Leclerc, who threw 30 pitches in Saturday's game, would start and Palumbo will likely pitch in the game.

Twins: Minnesota is also skipping an All-Star pitcher. Jake Odorizzi was placed on the injured list earlier in the week with a blister issue. Due to the long break, Baldelli said Kyle Gibson (8-4, 4.13 ERA) would start but wouldn't say how many innings the right-hander would pitch. Smeltzer likely will follow at some point.

---

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123456789RHE
TEX47-42
000001300481
MIN56-32
03020002X790
  • W: M. Pineda (6-4)L: J. Chavez (3-4)S: T. Rogers (12)
  • HR: TEX - E. Andrus (8), W. Calhoun (5), MIN - M. Gonzalez (10)
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
S. Choo RF40300011.284.377.492.8693.5
W. Calhoun LF41121014.291.333.544.8786.5
E. Andrus SS31111101.307.344.460.8047.0
J. Gallo CF40000034.271.413.6401.054-1.5
N. Mazara DH40000030.265.319.448.767-1.5
R. Odor 2B40000020.192.259.389.647-1.0
A. Cabrera 3B41100010.230.317.400.7171.5
R. Guzman 1B30100011.209.287.418.7050.5
a- L. Forsythe PH10000000.260.364.413.7770.0
J. Mathis C31110021.155.208.216.4242.0
b- D. Santana PH10000010.288.323.502.825-0.5
J. Chavez P0000-000.500.500.500.000-
P. Payano P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
J. Leclerc P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
S. Kelley P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
  • a-flied out for Guzman in the 9th
  • b-struck out for Mathis in the 9th
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
M. Kepler RF50000023.264.339.528.867-1.0
J. Polanco SS40200000.316.373.521.8942.0
N. Cruz DH40000021.283.366.561.927-1.0
L. Arraez 3B41100013.405.467.5441.0112.5
M. Sano 1B32100111.229.313.569.8825.5
L. Wade LF11000102.000.500.000.5002.0
M. Gonzalez LF21111000.260.325.428.7536.0
J. Schoop 2B22110101.261.313.473.7866.0
J. Castro C30230001.257.331.529.8606.0
B. Buxton CF40120022.253.315.498.8132.0
M. Pineda P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
T. Duffey P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
T. Rogers P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
    BATTING
    • 2B - S. Choo (23)
    • HR - W. Calhoun (5), E. Andrus (8)
    • RBI - W. Calhoun 2 (12), E. Andrus (45), J. Mathis (8)
    • 2-Out RBI - W. Calhoun 2 (2)
    • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - W. Calhoun, J. Gallo 4 (4)
    BATTING
    • 2B - L. Arraez (5), J. Castro (8)
    • 3B - M. Sano
    • HR - M. Gonzalez (10)
    • SF - J. Castro
    • RBI - M. Gonzalez (29), J. Schoop (39), J. Castro 3 (24), B. Buxton 2 (41)
    • 2-Out RBI - B. Buxton 2 (16)
    • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - M. Kepler 3 (3), L. Arraez 2 (2), M. Sano
    FIELDING
    • DP - (Andrus-Guzman)
    • E - J. Gallo (3)
    PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
    J. Chavez (L, 3-4)5.05542303.301.200.5
    P. Payano1.00001000.001.002.0
    J. Leclerc1.01000304.621.283.5
    S. Kelley1.03220213.301.20-1.0
    PITCHERSIP
    J. Chavez (L, 3-4)5.0
    P. Payano1.0
    J. Leclerc1.0
    S. Kelley1.0
    PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
    M. Pineda (W, 6-4)6.05111914.561.1825.5
    T. Duffey0.23330113.491.20-5.5
    T. Rogers (S, 12)2.10000501.820.9815.5
    PITCHERSIP
    M. Pineda (W, 6-4)6.0
    T. Duffey0.2
    T. Rogers (S, 12)2.1
    PITCHING
    • WP - J. Leclerc (5)
    • HBP - J. Chavez (4)
    • Pitches-Strikes - J. Chavez 90-53, P. Payano 11-5, J. Leclerc 30-18, S. Kelley 22-17
    • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J. Chavez 4-8
    • Batters Faced - J. Chavez 23, P. Payano 3, J. Leclerc 5, S. Kelley 6
    PITCHING
    • Pitches-Strikes - M. Pineda 96-59, T. Duffey 25-18, T. Rogers 34-23
    • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - M. Pineda 3-6, T. Rogers 1-1
    • Batters Faced - M. Pineda 24, T. Duffey 5, T. Rogers 7
    • Balks - T. Duffey
    PLAYERS OF THE GAME
    123456789RHE
    TEX47-42
    000001300481
    MIN56-32
    03020002X790
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    S. Choo RF40300011.284.377.492.8693.5
    W. Calhoun LF41121014.291.333.544.8786.5
    E. Andrus SS31111101.307.344.460.8047.0
    J. Gallo CF40000034.271.413.6401.054-1.5
    N. Mazara DH40000030.265.319.448.767-1.5
    R. Odor 2B40000020.192.259.389.647-1.0
    A. Cabrera 3B41100010.230.317.400.7171.5
    R. Guzman 1B30100011.209.287.418.7050.5
    a- L. Forsythe PH10000000.260.364.413.7770.0
    J. Mathis C31110021.155.208.216.4242.0
    b- D. Santana PH10000010.288.323.502.825-0.5
    J. Chavez P0000-000.500.500.500.000-
    P. Payano P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
    J. Leclerc P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
    S. Kelley P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
    Total35484211512-----
    • a-flied out for Guzman in the 9th
    • b-struck out for Mathis in the 9th
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    M. Kepler RF50000023.264.339.528.867-1.0
    J. Polanco SS40200000.316.373.521.8942.0
    N. Cruz DH40000021.283.366.561.927-1.0
    L. Arraez 3B41100013.405.467.5441.0112.5
    M. Sano 1B32100111.229.313.569.8825.5
    L. Wade LF11000102.000.500.000.5002.0
    M. Gonzalez LF21111000.260.325.428.7536.0
    J. Schoop 2B22110101.261.313.473.7866.0
    J. Castro C30230001.257.331.529.8606.0
    B. Buxton CF40120022.253.315.498.8132.0
    M. Pineda P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
    T. Duffey P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
    T. Rogers P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
    Total3279713814-----
      BATTING
      • 2B - S. Choo (23)
      • HR - W. Calhoun (5), E. Andrus (8)
      • RBI - W. Calhoun 2 (12), E. Andrus (45), J. Mathis (8)
      • 2-Out RBI - W. Calhoun 2 (2)
      • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - W. Calhoun, J. Gallo 4 (4)
      BATTING
      • 2B - L. Arraez (5), J. Castro (8)
      • 3B - M. Sano
      • HR - M. Gonzalez (10)
      • SF - J. Castro
      • RBI - M. Gonzalez (29), J. Schoop (39), J. Castro 3 (24), B. Buxton 2 (41)
      • 2-Out RBI - B. Buxton 2 (16)
      • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - M. Kepler 3 (3), L. Arraez 2 (2), M. Sano
      FIELDING
      • DP - (Andrus-Guzman)
      • E - J. Gallo (3)
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      J. Chavez (L, 3-4)5.05542303.301.200.5
      P. Payano1.00001000.001.002.0
      J. Leclerc1.01000304.621.283.5
      S. Kelley1.03220213.301.20-1.0
      Total8.0976381---
      PITCHERSIP
      J. Chavez (L, 3-4)5.0
      P. Payano1.0
      J. Leclerc1.0
      S. Kelley1.0
      Total8.0
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      M. Pineda (W, 6-4)6.05111914.561.1825.5
      T. Duffey0.23330113.491.20-5.5
      T. Rogers (S, 12)2.10000501.820.9815.5
      Total9.08441152---
      PITCHERSIP
      M. Pineda (W, 6-4)6.0
      T. Duffey0.2
      T. Rogers (S, 12)2.1
      Total9.0
      PITCHING
      • WP - J. Leclerc (5)
      • HBP - J. Chavez (4)
      • Pitches-Strikes - J. Chavez 90-53, P. Payano 11-5, J. Leclerc 30-18, S. Kelley 22-17
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J. Chavez 4-8
      • Batters Faced - J. Chavez 23, P. Payano 3, J. Leclerc 5, S. Kelley 6
      PITCHING
      • Pitches-Strikes - M. Pineda 96-59, T. Duffey 25-18, T. Rogers 34-23
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - M. Pineda 3-6, T. Rogers 1-1
      • Batters Faced - M. Pineda 24, T. Duffey 5, T. Rogers 7
      • Balks - T. Duffey
      • 8TH INNING
        Castro doubled to deep right, Schoop scored47
        Gonzalez homered to center46
      • 7TH INNING
        Calhoun homered to right, Mathis scored45
        Mathis singled to right center, Cabrera scored25
      • 6TH INNING
        Andrus homered to left center15
      • 4TH INNING
        Castro singled to right, Wade scored05
        Schoop grounded out to pitcher, Sano scored, Wade to second04
      • 2ND INNING
        Buxton singled to right center, Sano and Schoop scored03
        Castro hit sacrifice fly to center, Arraez scored, Sano to third, Schoop to second on center fielder Gallo throwing error01
      • 9TH INNING
        • T. Rogers Pitching:
        • A. Cabrera: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Cabrera struck out swinging
        • Logan Forsythe hit for Ronald Guzman
        • L. Forsythe: Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Forsythe flied out to deep center
        • Danny Santana hit for Jeff Mathis
        • D. Santana: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Santana struck out swinging
        • Middle of the 9th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 8TH INNING
        • T. Rogers Pitching:
        • J. Gallo: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Gallo struck out looking
        • N. Mazara: Strike looking, Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Ball, Strike looking, Mazara struck out looking
        • R. Odor: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Odor struck out swinging
        • Middle of the 8th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • Shawn Kelley relieved Jose Leclerc
        • M. Sano: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Sano popped out to second
        • M. Gonzalez: Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Gonzalez homered to center
        • J. Schoop: Schoop singled to center
        • J. Castro: Castro doubled to deep right, Schoop scored
        • B. Buxton: Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Strike looking, Buxton struck out looking
        • M. Kepler: Foul, Foul, Ball, Foul, Foul, Foul, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Kepler struck out swinging
        • End of the 8th (2 Runs, 3 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 7TH INNING
        • Tyler Duffey relieved Michael Pineda
        • A. Cabrera: Foul, Ball, Cabrera singled to center
        • R. Guzman: Strike (foul tip), Strike swinging, Ball, Guzman flied out to left
        • J. Mathis: Foul, Cabrera to second on balk, Foul, Ball, Foul, Ball, Foul, Mathis singled to right center, Cabrera scored
        • S. Choo: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Choo struck out swinging
        • W. Calhoun: Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Foul, Foul, Calhoun homered to right, Mathis scored
        • Taylor Rogers relieved Tyler Duffey
        • E. Andrus: Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Andrus grounded out to shortstop
        • Middle of the 7th (3 Runs, 3 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • Jose Leclerc relieved Pedro Payano
        • B. Buxton: Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Ball, Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Buxton struck out swinging
        • M. Kepler: Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Kepler popped out to third
        • J. Polanco: Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Polanco reached on an infield single to second
        • N. Cruz: Foul, Foul, Ball, Foul, Ball, Cruz struck out, reached on wild pitch, Polanco to second on wild pitch
        • L. Arraez: Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Arraez struck out swinging
        • End of the 7th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
      • 6TH INNING
        • M. Pineda Pitching:
        • E. Andrus: Strike looking, Ball, Andrus homered to left center
        • Marwin Gonzalez in left field
        • J. Gallo: Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Gallo struck out swinging
        • N. Mazara: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Mazara struck out swinging
        • R. Odor: Ball, Foul, Ball, Odor flied out to deep center
        • Middle of the 6th (1 Run, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • Pedro Payano relieved Jesse Chavez
        • M. Gonzalez: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Gonzalez flied out to center
        • J. Schoop: Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Ball, Schoop walked
        • J. Castro: Strike looking, Castro lined into double play shortstop to first, Schoop out at first
        • End of the 6th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 5TH INNING
        • M. Pineda Pitching:
        • R. Guzman: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Guzman struck out swinging
        • J. Mathis: Ball, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Mathis struck out swinging
        • S. Choo: Choo singled to center
        • W. Calhoun: Calhoun grounded out to first
        • Middle of the 5th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • J. Chavez Pitching:
        • J. Polanco: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Polanco singled to right
        • N. Cruz: Foul, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Cruz struck out swinging
        • L. Arraez: Strike looking, Foul, Arraez reached on fielder's choice to shortstop, Polanco out at second
        • M. Sano: Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Sano struck out swinging
        • End of the 5th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
      • 4TH INNING
        • M. Pineda Pitching:
        • N. Mazara: Ball, Ball, Foul, Mazara lined out to center
        • R. Odor: Odor flied out to deep center
        • A. Cabrera: Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Cabrera grounded out to first
        • Middle of the 4th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • J. Chavez Pitching:
        • M. Sano: Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Strike looking, Sano tripled to deep center
        • L. Wade: Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Wade walked
        • J. Schoop: Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Foul, Pickoff attempt to first, Schoop grounded out to pitcher, Sano scored, Wade to second
        • J. Castro: Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Strike looking, Foul, Castro singled to right, Wade scored
        • B. Buxton: Ball, Foul, Buxton lined out to third
        • M. Kepler: Ball, Ball, Kepler popped out to third
        • End of the 4th (2 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 3RD INNING
        • M. Pineda Pitching:
        • R. Guzman: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Guzman singled to center
        • J. Mathis: Ball, Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Mathis struck out swinging
        • S. Choo: Ball, Foul, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Choo singled to left, Guzman to second
        • W. Calhoun: Foul, Ball, Foul, Calhoun lined out to left
        • E. Andrus: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Ball, Foul, Foul, Foul, Foul, Ball, Andrus walked, Guzman to third, Choo to second
        • J. Gallo: Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Gallo struck out swinging
        • Middle of the 3rd (0 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • J. Chavez Pitching:
        • J. Polanco: Ball, Polanco grounded out to first
        • N. Cruz: Strike looking, Ball, Cruz grounded out to third
        • L. Arraez: Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Foul, Arraez flied out to left
        • End of the 3rd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 2ND INNING
        • M. Pineda Pitching:
        • N. Mazara: Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Strike looking, Mazara struck out looking
        • R. Odor: Ball, Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Odor struck out swinging
        • A. Cabrera: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Cabrera flied out to right
        • Middle of the 2nd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • J. Chavez Pitching:
        • L. Arraez: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Arraez doubled to right center
        • M. Sano: Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Sano walked
        • L. Wade: Ball, Strike looking, Wade popped out to shortstop
        • J. Schoop: Foul, Ball, Schoop hit by pitch, Arraez to third, Sano to second
        • J. Castro: Castro hit sacrifice fly to center, Arraez scored, Sano to third, Schoop to second on center fielder Gallo throwing error
        • B. Buxton: Strike looking, Strike looking, Buxton singled to right center, Sano and Schoop scored
        • M. Kepler: Ball, Ball, Pickoff attempt, Pickoff attempt, Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Strike looking, Kepler struck out looking
        • End of the 2nd (3 Runs, 2 Hits, 1 Error)
      • 1ST INNING
        • M. Pineda Pitching:
        • S. Choo: Ball, Ball, Choo doubled to deep right center
        • W. Calhoun: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Calhoun struck out swinging
        • E. Andrus: Ball, Strike looking, Andrus grounded out to shortstop
        • J. Gallo: Gallo flied out to deep center
        • Middle of the 1st (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • J. Chavez Pitching:
        • M. Kepler: Ball, Foul, Kepler fouled out to catcher
        • J. Polanco: Ball, Strike looking, Polanco lined out to third
        • N. Cruz: Strike looking, Ball, Cruz flied out to deep center
        • End of the 1st (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)