Twins drop series finale to Rangers 6-2
By DAN MYERS
MINNEAPOLIS — A double and a pair of sacrifices in the top of the eighth inning provided the edge the Texas Rangers needed Thursday in a 5-4 win over the Minnesota Twins at Target Field.
Texas won three of the four games in the series and are now 6-2 on the first two legs of their season-long 11-game road trip that concludes this weekend with a three-game series against the Washington Nationals.
With the game tied at four through seven innings, Rangers center fielder Leonys Martin, like he did Wednesday in a 1-0 Texas win, started the rally with a leadoff hit.
This time, it was a double off the wall in right field. He advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by catcher Robinson Chirinos and scored on a sacrifice fly to right by second baseman Rougned Odor.
Rangers right-hander Alexi Ogando, who pitched 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief, earned the victory to improve to 2-2.
Twins right-hander Casey Fien, who entered the game at the start of the eighth, took the loss, dropping to 3-2 this season.
Both starters labored through the early innings, with Samuel Deduno loading the bases with nobody out in the second inning. He coaxed a pop out to second, got a strikeout and worked Rangers designated hitter Shin-Soo Choo to a two-strike count before Choo dumped a double down the left field line to clear the bases.
Minnesota loaded the bases with nobody out in their half of the inning against Texas righty Nick Martinez, but grounded back to the pitcher and lined into a 3-6 double play to end the threat.
The Twins did get on the board in the next inning, getting RBI singles from third baseman Trevor Plouffe and designated hitter Josh Willingham to make it 3-2.
Willingham gave the Twins the lead in the fifth inning, hitting a long two-run homer into the second deck above the bullpens in left field. The 436-foot shot was his first of the season after he missed 41 games with a fractured wrist.
Texas got even in the next half inning as Martin doubled and was driven in by Chirinos on a single. The hit ended Deduno’s day, as he went 5 1/3 innings, allowing nine hits, a walk and four earned runs. He also struck out two and got a no-decision.
Martinez who went 5 2/3 innings, also got a no decision, allowing four runs on nine hits and two walks with two strikeouts.
Texas closer Joakim Soria got the final two outs in the ninth inning, working around a single by Twins outfielder Oswaldo Arcia, to close out his 10th save.