Rapid Reaction: Twins 3, Rangers 2
ARLINGTON, Texas – Forget no-hitters. Just holding on to leads has been an issue for Yu Darvish lately.
Despite cruising into the seventh with a no-hitter intact and up 2-0, Texas' ace couldn't make it out of the inning after giving up the go-ahead runs. The Rangers would lose 3-2 to the Minnesota Twins to open a quick three-game homestand Friday night at Rangers Ballpark.
Darvish appeared to be on the verge of snapping a streak of two consecutive no-decisions by dominating the Twins for two turns through the lineup. The All-Star was pitching with a purpose and economically, at least by his standards, on a sweltering evening.
But just like his last outing, Darvish was unable to protect a slim lead against a struggling club. The Chicago White Sox got to Darvish late after also falling behind 2-0. Darvish has now left his two most recent games with the score tied 2-2.
This time, back-to-back home runs by Chris Herrmann and Justin Morneau -- Minnesota's first two hits of the game -- left the Rangers down 3-2. (Brian Dozier walked to lead off the inning.) After Trevor Plouffe doubled two batters later, Ron Washington had seen enough and pulled Darvish.
Darvish (12-6) lost for the first time since July 27, but despite a quality start that included 11 strikeouts, the Rangers can't feel good about his outing nor how Darvish ended August.
Failure to capitalize: The Rangers wasted a golden opportunity to tie the game in the seventh. Craig Gentry, pinch-hitting for David Murphy, tripled into the right-field corner with one out and Texas down a run.
Leonys Martin, facing left-hander Brian Duensing, grounded out meekly to second against a drawn-in infield. Elvis Andrus did the same to short against righty Josh Roenicke to end the inning.
Nearly back-to-back: Jurickson Profar and Murphy provided some pop at the bottom of the lineup, as the Rangers took a 1-0 lead in the third. Profar's fifth homer of the season -- and first since Aug. 2 -- ricocheted off the upper-deck ribbon board in right, traveling an estimated 399 feet.
Murphy followed with a shot about as far to straightaway center that stayed in the ballpark but not in the glove of center fielder Clete Thomas, who hit the wall. Murphy strolled into second with an easy double but was stranded by an inning-ending double play.
Nefty almost back: Instead of making a scheduled appearance for Triple-A Round Rock on Saturday, former All-Star closer Neftali Feliz will be activated and rejoin the bullpen when rosters expand on Sunday.
Ortiz back: The club recalled left-handed pitcher Joseph Ortiz from Triple-A Round Rock. To make room on the active roster, right-handed pitcher Ross Wolf was optioned to Round Rock.
Hickory power: Joey Gallo of Low-A Hickory stroked three home runs Friday, giving him 36 for the season. It's his second three-homer game this season. He also has seven long balls in the past 10 games.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Rangers GM Jon Daniels joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to tackle the tough questions after his team failed to advance to the playoffs.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss having Nelson Cruz back in the lineup and how the Rangers are feeling heading into their wild-card play-in game against the Rays.
Play Podcast ESPN Insider and senior MLB analyst Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the wild-card race and the Rangers' chances of making the playoffs.
Play Podcast Chuck Cooperstein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why he feels Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish isn't an ace.
Play Podcast Elvis Andrus joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Rangers' stretch run and the morale level in their clubhouse.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss the latest Rangers news, including the team's struggles, Ron Washington's job security and a rumored trade with the Braves.
Play Podcast Ron Washington joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss the Rangers' dismal September, who's to blame for their September struggles and his status as the team's manager.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss how some people are calling for the Rangers to fire manager Ron Washington.