ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Struggling Kyle Lohse responded to speculation that his rotation spot was in jeopardy by pitching one of his best games of the season.
Lohse allowed on run in six innings and the Minnesota Twins took advantage of wildness by Vicente Padilla to beat the Texas Rangers 4-3 on Wednesday.Lohse (2-3) allowed six hits, struck out six and walked four, lowering his ERA from 9.71 to .833."You hear a lot of stuff you don't want to hear," Lohse said. "But until they tell me I'm out of the starting five, I'm going to do what I do. There's enough pressure already."Minnesota won for the fourth time in five games heading into a weekend series against the AL Central-leading Chicago White Sox."To win in Texas against that lineup is tough," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Everybody knows he's been struggling. He needed that for his confidence. Hopefully, he can continue from there."Lohse said moving his position on the rubber a little closer to first base produced better results."It's amazing what a little adjustment like that can do," he said.Joe Nathan struck out two in a perfect ninth for his fifth save in as many chances.Padilla forced in the go-ahead run in the seventh inning when he walked two batters and hit two others.With the score 1-1, Padilla (3-3) walked Torii Hunter and
Michael Cuddyer opening the seventh and then hit Justin Morneau and
Mike Redmond with pitches. Joaquin Benoit relieved and got Tony Batista to ground into a double play as Cuddyer scored for a 3-1 lead and then struck out Juan Castro.Hunter, batting .517 (15-for-29) during an eight-game hitting streak, added an RBI single off Francisco Cordero in the eighth that made it 4-1.Mark DeRosa, who went 3-for-3, hit a two-run double against Juan Rincon in the bottom half on a drive off the wall that missed becoming a home run by inches."I thought I got it," DeRosa said. "I put a good swing on it and initially thought it was a home run. But that's the way the game goes sometimes."Hunter went back on DeRosa's line drive and was relieved when the ball stayed in the park."They say it's a game of inches and you saw it right there," Hunter said. "It was inches from going out."With the potential tying run on second, Gerald Laird popped out and pinch-hitter Gary Matthews Jr. grounded out.Padilla gave up three runs, three hits and three walks in six innings. He was perfect until Lew Ford's single leading off the fourth.Rangers manager Buck Showalter was ejected by plate umpire Mark Wegner in the fourth. After taking a called third strike, the Rangers' Brad Wilkerson had a few words for Wegner and lingered at the plate. Showalter came out of the dugout to protect his player and was tossed by Wegner.Showalter was ejected for the first time this season and third in his four years as Rangers manager."I went out to get Brad so he could stay in the game," Showalter said. "I guess he thought I was arguing balls and strikes."Mark Teixeira had an RBI single in the third for the Rangers, who have lost four of five. Hunter hit a run-scoring, double-play grounder in the fourth.
Matthews and Rod Barajas weren't in the Rangers' starting lineup. Matthews has been bothered by a sore quadriceps and Barajas was rested. Adrian Brown started in center and Laird was the catcher. ... Gardenhire started Nick Punto at second base instead of Luis Castillo, who has been slowed by a sore knee. Gardenhire did not start outfielder Shannon Stewart because Stewart is recovering from the flu. ... Thursday is the Rangers' only off day in May. Texas opens a 10-game trip Friday night in Boston. ... The Rangers have failed to homer in five of their last six games.