It's been a disastrous week for the Texas Rangers, who opened up a weekend home series with Minnesota having lost eight consecutive games. Then you have the Twins, who came into town on an eight-game road skid. The Rangers would be the first to break a streak, picking up a 5-4 win.
Things started off quickly for Texas, as they got a two-run shot from Adrian Beltre (9) to break the ice in the bottom of the first. It would stay quiet until the fifth, when Luis Sardinas and Shin-Soo Choo both delivered RBI doubles to give the Rangers a 4-0 lead. Beltre would then tack on their fifth and final run in the eighth with a sac fly.
Things were golden for Texas through eight innings, both offensively and from starter Nick Tepesch. He delivered 7 1/3 innings of work, only giving up three hits and striking out five to improve his record to 3-3 on the year. But it nearly turned ugly when he turned things over to the bullpen for the final five outs.
Jason Frasor came on in the eighth to face Kurt Suzuki, and promptly forced him to ground out to third. Neal Cotts replaced him after just one batter and struck out Joe Mauer to end the inning. That would set the scene for what would be a dramatic ninth inning.
Joakim Soria was brought in to shut things down, and immediately ran into trouble. After giving up a leadoff walk and double, Oswaldo Arcia singled home two runs to put the twins on the board. Eduardo Escobar reached on a fielding error, paving the way for Jorge Polanco to put two more on the board with a big triple.
The Twins just couldn't get things together to figure out the Rangers. Kevin Correia struggled through six innings, giving up four runs and a pair of walks on six hits. He drops to 4-9 on the year, while his ERA took a hit in the process.
The outing from Tepesch was the longest performance by a Rangers starter since Yu Darvish served up a shutout against the Marlins back on June 11. Tepesch has yet to lose to Minnesota, racking up a 3-0 career record with a 1.31 ERA against the Twins.
Texas looks to build on that win on Saturday afternoon, with a 4:05 P.M. Central start against the Twins in the second game of the weekend set. Speaking of Darvish (7-4, 2.62 ERA), he'll get the start for the home team as he faces Phil Hughes (8-3, 3.40 ERA). Darvish has had a rough stretch since that shutout, giving up eight earned runs in 11 innings. Hughes on the other hand, has done well in seven previous meetings against Texas. He has held Texas hitters to a 1.89 average, which is the lowest among active pitchers with at least five starts against the Rangers.