Hometown Hunter homers, drives in three

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Torii Hunter lives in North Texas in the
offseason, so it's no wonder he felt right at home at The Ballpark
in Arlington.

Hunter hit his 14th home run to tie for the AL lead and drove in
three runs Monday night to lead the Minnesota Twins to a 5-2
victory over the Texas Rangers.

''This is home,'' said Hunter, playing in front of 60 relatives
from Arkansas and friends from The Colony, about 45 minutes from
the Rangers' home park. ''I love Texas but I play for Minnesota.
Mom will be cooking for me and I'll get to sleep in my own bed.
It's always good to play at home.''

Hunter's two-run homer in the fifth inning off Kenny Rogers
(5-3) gave the Twins a 4-0 lead and tied Texas' Alex Rodriguez and
Alfonso Soriano of the New York Yankees for the league lead in

Hunter was surprised to see a fastball from Rogers over the
middle of the plate.

''I couldn't believe it,'' Hunter said. ''He rarely makes a
mistake. I looked for something to hit and just reacted to it. It
feels good to be tied with A-Rod for the home run lead.''

Rogers knew he made a bad pitch.

''I did groove it,'' he said. ''I was trying to make a
two-seamer on the inside, but it went over the middle. The catchers
don't get those very often. Mistakes get hit.''

Hunter's run-scoring triple in the seventh stretched Minnesota's
lead to 5-1. The Rangers have lost 10 of 12 to fall nine games
under .500 (20-29) for the first time since April 23 (5-14).

Twins starter Kyle Lohse (4-3) allowed one run and seven hits in
5 1-3 innings, striking out six. Eddie Guardado pitched the ninth
for his 16th save.

''He got us into the sixth and had a very nice performance.
Lohse was very competitive against a very good lineup,'' Twins
manager Ron Gardenhire said.

Rogers gave up five runs, seven hits and four walks in seven

Carl Everett went 3-for-4 and Rafael Palmeiro homered for the
Rangers, who lost their fourth straight.

Palmeiro hit his 11th homer leading off the sixth, giving him
1,500 career RBI. He became the 39th player in major league
history to reach the milestone.

The Twins took a 2-0 lead in the third without hitting a ball
out of the infield.

No. 9 batter Jay Canizaro drew a leadoff walk, and first baseman
Mike Lamb threw wildly to second on Dustan Mohr's grounder,
allowing Canizaro to move to third. Cristian Guzman's infield
single scored Canizaro, and Corey Koskie's groundout made it 2-0.

Herbert Perry's RBI double in the eighth pulled the Rangers to

Game notes
Texas was returning from a 2-9 road trip. ... Rangers
OF-INF Frank Catalanotto has been cleared to begin extended spring
training Wednesday. Catalanotto has been on the 15-day disabled
list since May 11 with a strained right groin and muscle spasms in
his back. ... Pregame rain prevented the teams from taking batting
practice on the field. ... Hunter's 431-foot homer was the longest
at The Ballpark in Arlington this season. ... Lohse matched a
career high for strikeouts.