Rangers hold on to beat Twins 5-4
ARLINGTON, Texas - Nick Tepesch matched a career high by pitching 7 1/3 innings of shutout baseball and Adrian Beltre had three RBIs for the Texas Rangers, who held on to snap an eight-game losing skid with a 5-4 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Friday.
The 27th out proved difficult for Texas right-handed closer Joakim Soria in a non-save situation, but, despite giving up four runs in the ninth, he held the victory for Tepesch (3-3), who allowed two hits, while striking out five and walking two in winning for the first time in four starts.
Beltre, who was 1-for-3 as the designated hitter, had a two-run home run in the first for Texas (36-43), which won for the first time since June 16 and has now taken four of five from the Twins this season.
Beltre accounted for Texas' fifth run with a sacrifice fly in the eighth.
Left fielder Shin-Soo Choo, hitting leadoff after being moved out of the No. 3 spot following 15 consecutive games there, went 3-for-4, including a run-scoring double in the Rangers' two-run fifth.
Right-handed pitcher Kevin Correia (4-9) suffered the loss for Minnesota (36-42), which lost for a fourth consecutive game. Correia gave up four runs on six hits and two walks over six innings pitched.
In the last four games, Minnesota starters have compiled an 11.65 ERA.
Tepesch was 0-3 with a no-decision in his last four starts with a 5.93 ERA.
His only trouble on Friday came when he loaded the bases in the fourth with two outs. But he got out of the jam by recording a strikeout looking of third baseman Eduardo Escobar.
Tepesch retired 10 of the last 12 hitters he faced before being pulled after giving up a one-out single to Twins second baseman Brian Dozier in the eighth.
Right-handed pitcher Jason Frasor and left-hander Neal Cotts registered the last two outs of the eight.
Soria, making only his second appearance since June 14, struggled after entering the game in the ninth with a 5-0 lead. He was riding a scoreless streak of 8 1/3 innings, but gave up four runs on two hits and a walk. One run was unearned.
Jorge Polanco's first major-league hit was a three-run double in the ninth for the Twins, who also got a run-scoring single from right fielder Oswaldo Arcia in the inning.
Soria struck out second baseman Brian Dozier and induced a game-inning groundout to third from Kurt Suzuki.
Beltre's two-run home run in the Rangers' half of the first gave Tepesch a two-run cushion and the Rangers' first lead in five games.
Texas increased its lead in the fifth. Third baseman Luis Sardinas' run-scoring double down the left-field line, which just got under the glove of a diving Josh Willingham near the foul line, scored catcher Chris Gimenez with the Rangers' third run. Two hitters later, Choo followed with a double off the wall in left to score Sardinas.
Tepesch retired nine of the first 10 hitters he faced before the Twins threatened in the fourth. Minnesota leaded the bases with two outs on a hit, a hit-by-pitch and a walk. Tepesch worked out of the Yohan Pino jam by striking out third baseman Eduardo Escobar to end the inning.