Thursday, June 9, 2011
Rapid Reaction: Twins 5, Rangers 4
By Bryan Dolgin
The Texas Rangers lost 5-4 against the Minnesota Twins in the first game of this four-game series.
Luke Hughes led off the bottom of the 9th inning with a double down the left field line that third baseman Adrian Beltre and manager Ron Washington disputed on whether it was fair. One out later, Matt Tolbert drew a walk. Lefty Arthur Rhodes replaced righty Mark Lowe to face Ben Revere. He got him to fly out. Left-handed hitters were batting .217 against Rhodes. Then, Alexi Casilla, a switch-hitter who batted right-handed versus Rhodes, delivered the game-winning RBI single. Righties came in batting .353 on the season versus Rhodes.
Josh Hamilton began the scoring with a two-out home run on a 2-0 pitch from Nick Blackburn in the first inning. It went an estimated 441 feet to right field. It was Hamilton’s fourth home run of the season.
Delmon Young tied the game when he led off the second inning with his second home run of the season. It came on a 1-0 pitch from Derek Holland. That ended Holland’s scoreless stretch at 10 innings, and it ended the team’s streak of scoreless innings on the road at 19 innings. Holland gave up four runs in 7.1 innings and did not receive a decision.
The score remained tied until the bottom of the fifth inning when Michael Cuddyer hit a two-out, three-run home run to left-center field off Holland. Cuddyer now has eight home runs on the season.
Earlier in that inning, second base umpire Paul Nauert, appeared to have missed a call when shortstop Elvis Andrus applied a tag on Rene Rivera, who was going back to second base. Replays show Rivera was clearly out, but the umpire ruled him safe. That would have been the first out of the inning.
Adrian Beltre cut the deficit to 4-2 in the top of the sixth with a one-out RBI single to center field. His team-leading RBI total climbed to 46. After Nelson Cruz reached on an error by Danny Valencia at third base to put runners on first and third, Mitch Moreland delivered a sacrifice fly to center to score Beltre. The Rangers trailed 4-3.
With one out in the top of the eighth, Nelson Cruz ended Blackburn’s night with his 15th home run of the season that went an estimated 450 feet to left field. That tied the game at 4-4.
* The first five outs recorded by Holland came via the strikeout. That matched his strikeout total for his complete game shutout at Cleveland his last time on the mound. He went on to strike out 10, which tied his career high which he established vs. Seattle on July 30, 2009.
* Cruz has hit safely in 11 of the last 13 games. He also has hit a home run in four of his last seven games.
* The Rangers began a 10-game, 11-day road trip. This was the first of four at Minnesota. The Rangers have lost their last eight games in Minnesota, including seven straight at Target Field. After a day off Monday, the Rangers play three in New York followed by three at Atlanta.
* Ian Kinsler missed his second game because of paternity leave. Michael Young made his 11th start of the season at second base.
* Tommy Hunter (right groin strain) pitched tonight at Triple-A Round Rock on a rehab assignment. He did not allow a hit or a run in his three innings. Hunter also walked one and struck out two. He threw 45 pitches, 31 for strikes.