The Texas Rangers witnessed another great outing by one of their young starting pitchers -- this time Justin Grimm -- as they won their second straight game over the Minnesota Twins, 4-3, on Friday night at Target Field.
Grimm cruises: Grimm followed up on fellow rookie Nick Tepesch's brilliant start on Thursday night with seven shutout innings. Following Tepesch's lead, Grimm had total command of the strike zone with no walks. He allowed five hits and had four strikeouts. Grimm has two walks in his past 13 innings.
First-inning runs: The Rangers jumped on the Twins with three first-inning doubles that helped build a 2-0 lead. Elvis Andrus had a one-out double, stole third and scored on Lance Berkman's double to center field. Nelson Cruz made it six straight games with an RBI as he went to the opposite field once again with a double to right field.
Cruz stays hot: Cruz is the third player boasting six straight games with an RBI this season in the majors, joining the Detroit Tigers' Prince Fielder and the Cincinnati Reds' Todd Frazier. It ties a career high that he's accomplished four times.
Beltre hammers another one: Adrian Beltre is starting to hit the ball with authority. He crushed a home run to straightaway center field to give Texas a 3-0 lead in the sixth inning. Beltre has seven hits in his past 24 at-bats, including two of his four home runs.
Outs on the bases: The Rangers made three outs on the bases as they didn't get as much out of their 13 hits as they could have. They made two outs on the bases in the third inning, as Andrus was thrown out at home and Berkman got hung up and was out at third base for the second out of the inning.
Rough ninth: Left-hander Joe Ortiz started the bottom of the ninth with a four-run lead and allowed a double to Josh Willingham and a soft single to Justin Morneau. Ortiz did strike out Chris Parmelee for the first out and turned the game over to closer Joe Nathan. He got the second out, fanning Trevor Plouffe, then allowed a three-run homer to Oswaldo Arcia to make things interesting. Nathan was able to bounce back and get Ryan Doumit to line out to center fielder Craig Gentry to end the game.
What scheduling issue?: The Rangers were supposed to be sluggish in the second game after a late plane flight from Anaheim to Minneapolis, but they haven't shown it in this series, winning two one-run games.
Up next: The Rangers go for three wins in a row over the Twins when left-hander Derek Holland (1-1, 3.25 ERA) takes on Minnesota left-hander Pedro Hernandez (0-0, 3.86 ERA) at 3:10 p.m. Saturday on FSSW and ESPN-FM 103.3 and 1270-AM.