Sunday, April 15, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Rangers 4, Twins 3
By Bryan Dolgin
The Texas Rangers beat the Minnesota Twins 4-3 on Sunday to complete a three-game sweep and improve to 8-2 on the season. Josh Hamilton hit the game-changing home run in the top of the eighth inning. After an Ian Kinsler lead-off walk and Elvis Andrus triple, Hamilton hit his fourth home run of the season and did so off lefty Glen Perkins. That gave the Rangers a 4-3 lead.
Joe Nathan pitched the ninth for the second consecutive game, and this was a save opportunity. He worked a 1-2-3 ninth inning for his third save.
On the mound: Starter Neftali Feliz was perfect through 10 batters. Jamey Carroll singled with one out in the bottom of the fourth inning for the Twins' first hit. As a major league starting pitcher, Feliz pitched 11 2/3 scoreless before allowing his first runs on Clete Thomas' home run. Feliz lasted just three batters into the sixth inning, the shortest outing of the season for a Rangers starting pitcher. He did not factor in the decision.
Taking a chance: The Rangers, trailing 2-1, had a chance to tie the game in the sixth, but Adrian Beltre was thrown out at home plate trying to score from first base on Michael Young's third hit of the day. Right fielder Thomas to second baseman Alexi Casilla to catcher Joe Mauer was a perfect play.
Nails: For the second consecutive day, lefty Robbie Ross impressed. He relieved Feliz with two on and no outs in the sixth inning. He struck out Justin Morneau and Josh Willingham before getting Chris Parmalee to fly out to left. Ross also pitched a scoreless seventh inning.
Hold on: RHP Mike Adams pitched the eighth inning. It was his seventh appearance in 10 games. He entered this game tied for the American League lead in appearances and with four holds.
Young season: Young has hit safely in eight of 10 games this season, and he has hit safely in five straight. Young was 3-for-4 with a single and two doubles on Sunday.
Superman: Hamilton began the day as the American League’s leader with 14 hits. He singled in his first at-bat, which meant he has hit safely in nine of the Rangers' 10 games. Hamilton has hit a home run in two straight games.
On a good run: Kinsler has scored 11 runs in 10 games.
The backstop: Yorvit Torrealba made his fifth start of the season. The Rangers are 4-1 when he is the starting catcher.
Missing the dome? On a rainy day in Minnesota, it’s easy to say one misses the Metrodome. Mike Napoli might miss it a little more than others because he was a career .395 hitter (15-for-38) in the Metrodome. He is now 6-for-31 at Target Field after going 1-for-4 on Sunday with his first homer of the season. Napoli was 1-for-8 in this series before hitting connecting in the fifth inning.
What’s in a name? According to www.baseball-reference.com, the Rangers faced the first player ever in Major League Baseball with the first name of Liam. Eric Nadel pointed this out at the beginning of the radio broadcast on the Texas Rangers ESPN Radio Network. Liam Hendrik allowed just one run Rangers run in six innings.