Found July 08, 2012 on
Los Angeles Angels
New York Yankees
Minnesota used six pitchers to again subdue the Texas Rangers' offense for nine innings Saturday night.
Unfortunately for the Twins, they couldn't do it in extra innings.
Nelson Cruz hit an RBI double off reliever Kyle Waldrop (0-1) in the 10th inning that scored Adrian Beltre to lead the Rangers to a 4-3 victory that snapped their five-game losing streak.
''Cruz swung the bat well,'' manager Ron Washington said. ''We were due to finally put together something offensively.
Texas' Josh Hamilton had a home run, walk and a run scored as the designated hitter one night after leaving in the fifth inning with back spasms.
Samuel Deduno, the 11th pitcher to start a game for Minnesota this season, gave up three runs including two home runs, on six hits in his big league starting debut. He had three strikeouts and walked three.
His biggest mistake was a slider up in the zone that Beltre smacked into the left-field seats that tied the game at 3-3 in the sixth.
''He fought through some innings,'' Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. ''I thought he threw some really nice breaking balls. He just hung the slider to Beltre.
''Against those guys if you throw too many strikes, they will absolutely kill you.''
The Rangers, still statistically the best offense in the majors, haven't been hitting the ball well at all recently, having scored only nine runs during their five-game skid.
Cruz finished 3 for 5 with two doubles and two RBIs, and Beltre, too was 3 for 5 as the Rangers improved to 41-5 the past two years in games in which Beltre has homered.
Joe Nathan (1-2) pitched scoreless ninth and 10th innings for the Rangers, his longest outing in almost three years after ligament replacement surgery, in relief of Derek Holland, who returned from a stint on the disabled list with left shoulder fatigue.
Holland gave up three runs on six hits, two walks and four strikeouts over six innings.
The Rangers moved Cruz out of his customary No. 6 slot in the lineup and up to No. 5, though manager Ron Washington told reporters before the game that the shuffle was more coincidental than anything.
Young initially had been penciled into the No. 3 spot of Hamilton, who wasn't expected to play.
Washington said he just decided to leave Cruz, who has struggled all season, at No. 5.
''I'm not going to pat myself on the back,'' Washington said. ''It just came off my pen that way.''
Said Cruz: ''I don't see any difference. When the games starts, everybody's first and third (in the order). There's no other way to see it.''
Trevor Plouffe, Ryan Doumit and Josh Willingham each drove in runs for the Twins, who took a one-run lead on Willingham's solo homer in the sixth.
The Rangers, who are 3 for 17 with runners in scoring position in this series, had a few chances to go ahead late, but couldn't capitalize. They loaded the bases with two outs in the seventh, but Beltre grounded out to end the inning.
In the eighth, David Murphy walked and stole second with two outs, followed by a walk to Mike Napoli. But Craig Gentry popped out to short center field handled by Twins shortstop Brian Dozier. The Rangers are 2 for 16 with runners in scoring position in the series, including 1 for 8 on Saturday.
The Twins put runners on first and second in the seventh after one-out walks to Joe Mauer and Willingham, but Robbie Ross induced Justin Morneau to bounce into an inning-ending double play.
The Twins rank last in the major leagues in strikeouts and near the bottom in ERA, batting average allowed, hits and innings pitched.
Deduno got his chance on Saturday and impressed his manager to some degree. What's next for him won't be decided until after the All-Star break.
''No one has told me anything,'' Deduno said about the team's plans for him. ''But I want to stay here.''
Notes: Hamilton became the first Rangers player to record at least 27 home runs and 75 RBIs before the All-Star break and first major leaguer to do so since Albert Pujols in 2009. Alex Rodriguez was the last American League player to reach those marks in 2007. ... The Rangers optioned right-handed pitcher Justin Grimm to Double-A Frisco to make room for Holland. Grimm went 1-1 with a 10.80 ERA in three games with the team, including two starts. ... Home plate umpire Marty Foster left the game in the top of the seventh after apparently becoming sick. Second base umpire Jeff Kellogg took over behind the plate for the short crew. ... Ross extended his scoreless innings streak to 22 1/3 after recording an out in the seventh and pitching the eighth. Ross is in position to post the lowest ERA (0.96) through the All-Star break since 1933, eclipsing Bob Gibson's 1.06 in 1968. The lowest rookie figure is 1.78, recorded by Detroit's Mark Fidrych in 1976.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
It's been a slow climb back from an injury-filled 2011 season for Minnesota Twins first baseman Justin Morneau, but he heads into this week's All-Star break on a bit of a high note.
After going 1-for-5 in Sunday's extra-innings loss to Texas, Morneau is now riding a 10-game hitting streak into the break. During that stretch, he has 14 hits, four RBI and a home run. The...
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau drove in two runs each, Francisco Liriano pitched around six walks and the Minnesota Twins handed the Texas Rangers their season-high fifth straight loss with a 5-1 win Friday night.
Liriano (3-7) allowed five hits and one run with six strikeouts in 6 23 innings, and the Rangers scored two runs or fewer for the fourth time in...
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Talk about an electrifying performance.
Texas Rangers catcher Mike Napoli and Minnesota batter Ryan Doumit quickly scrambled to their respective dugouts and base runner Josh Willingham dropped to his knees when a bolt of lightning struck near Rangers Ballpark during Sunday night's game.
The bright flash was immediately followed by a loud clap of thunder...
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- All-Star outfielder Josh Hamilton is in the Texas Rangers' lineup after leaving Friday's game in the fifth inning with lower back spasms.
Hamilton is the designated hitter for Saturday night's matchup with the Minnesota Twins. Manager Ron Washington says he initially had Hamilton on the bench, but put him in the lineup after the slugger said...
I don’t think I ever heard thunder this loud before.
The Texas Rangers were hosting the Minnesota Twins when out of nowhere a loud smack of thunder quickly sent the players running off the field. This would be a lot funnier except I would’ve reacted like the Twins player on first base who ended up on all fours.
By JEFF MEZYDLO,
STATS Senior WriterA season-high five-game losing streak might not be the only major concern facing the Texas Rangers.Back spasms could keep slugger Josh Hamilton out of the lineup Saturday night when the AL West-leading Rangers look to get back on track against the visiting Minnesota Twins.The leading vote-getter for next week's All-Star game, Hamilton is considered...
The Minnesota Twins pull into the All-Star break playing reasonably good baseball and within spitting distance of first-place Chicago in the AL Central, 11 games out with roughly half a season left. The fact that they have rallied from such a deficit in recent memory bolsters confidence of a team digging itself out of a 6-16 April. "We dug ourselves a pretty deep hole,...
When Francisco Liriano shut down the Athletics in his return to the starting rotation, many dismissed it as just one start, and one against the Athletics at that. Instead, Liriano has taken that start and ran with it, and six starts later he looks reborn. There could hardly be a bigger difference between Liriano’s first five starts and his last seven:
First five starts:
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Rangers slugger Josh Hamilton has left a game against the Minnesota Twins with lower back spasms.
The leading vote-getter for the All-Star game was seen on television replays reaching for his back after making a long throw from the warning track when he dropped a fly ball for a three-base error Friday night.
Hamilton finished the fifth inning after the...
After a forgettable 99-loss season in 2011, the Minnesota Twins have again stumbled in the first half of the 2012 season. After Sunday's 13-inning loss to the Texas Rangers, the Twins are now 36-49 and 11 games out of first place heading into next week's All-Star break. Through 85 games last year, Minnesota was 38-47 and eight games out of first place.
If the Twins are to...
Yu put dat bat away, Yu put dat bat away, Yu put dat bat away….
Check out rapping white boy Smosy as he pays tribute to the Texas Rangers All-Star pitcher Yu Darvish the only way he knows how, by remaking the Soulja Boy classic ‘Crank Dat‘. Enjoy SweaterPunch’s new all time favorite rap tribute to the Japanese pitching sensation called “Do the Yu (Put that Bat Away...
So a massive thunder strike in Texas caused a delay in the Rangers/Twins game today, but the star of the show was the reactions of the players. Roy Oswalt was remarkably composed, but Mike Napoli wasn’t having ANY of that **** and Josh Willingham thought he was in a war zone. The Rangers infield joking
By the time Sunday's 13-inning game between the Twins and Rangers was over, Cole De Vries' impressive start was all but forgotten. Still, that doesn't take away from the outing the right-hander put together for Minnesota.In just his fifth career major league start, De Vries delivered his best outing as a Twin. The Eden Prairie, Minn., native and former Golden Gopher held...
Trevor Plouffe as a Poor-Man's Jose Bautista
Plouffe was hitting .138 on May 15, and since then has hit 18 home runs, giving him 19 on the year. He qualifies at shortstop, among other places and has an .873 OPS despite the slow start. In 192 Triple-A at-bats in 2010, Plouffe had a 1.019 OPS with 15 HR, so the power surge wasn't entirely out of nowhere. Even last year...