Rangers clueless in mystery of beating Twins

Posted Wednesday, Jul. 27, 2011  comments  Print Reprints
A

Have more to add? News tip? Tell us

ARLINGTON -- One American League team the past five years has created more problems for the Texas Rangers than any other.

There's only one AL team that Colby Lewis has never beaten, between his starts in the regular season and last year in the playoffs.

Maybe the Rangers' and Lewis' struggles against Minnesota shouldn't come as a surprise. After all, the Twins have won the AL Central the past two years and have been above .500 the past four.

But Minnesota remained an enigma to the Rangers and Lewis on Wednesday night.

Joe Mauer and Michael Cuddyer hit solo homers and drove in two runs apiece against Lewis, and Jason Kubel put the game out of reach with a three-run double in the ninth inning as Minnesota beat the Rangers 7-2.

Lewis has never defeated the Twins in six starts, and is 0-3 in four starts the past two seasons since returning from Japan. The Rangers are 2-5 this season, 5-12 the past two years and 16-30 since Ron Washington took over as manager in 2007.

The .348 winning percentage is the lowest against any AL team in the Washington era.

"Their hitters go up and battle us pretty good," Washington said. "They put the ball in play, and once they're on the bags they can put pressure on. They can do a lot of things, and they've got some guys now that can hit it out of the ballpark."

The loss was the first for Lewis since June 11, when he lasted only 1 1/3 innings at Target Field against a watered-down Twins lineup that tagged him for six runs.

Minnesota is largely healthy now, though Denard Span and Justin Morneau are on the disabled list. Mauer, Kubel and Jim Thome missed the first series but were in the middle of the lineup with Cuddyer on Wednesday.

A crowd of 35,950 at Rangers Ballpark, which pushed the Rangers past the 2 million mark, watched the Twins start fast. Mauer connected for his first homer of the year with two outs in the first, and Cuddyer added another homer, the 26th allowed by Lewis this season, to open the fourth.

The Rangers countered in their half of the inning, which started with a double by Elvis Andrus. He scored two batters later on an RBI groundout by Michael Young.

Lewis, though, couldn't keep the deficit at 2-1. Alexi Casilla doubled with two outs in the fifth and scored on a single by Mauer, who moved to second on a throw home. The former MVP would score as Cuddyer singled up the middle for a 4-1 lead.

Lewis (10-8) didn't think he pitched poorly and thinks he might be gaining on the Twins.

"The more and more you see them, the more and more comfortable you get," he said. "I'm just thankful I kept Thome off the bases tonight. He's one of those guys who seems to hit me well."

The Rangers had chances to rally against former Nebraska star Brian Duensing.

Andrus was thrown out trying to steal third as Michael Young was batting with one out in the sixth. Young delivered what would have been an RBI single later in the at-bat.

"Just a bad decision," Washington said.

Duensing and Matt Capps pitched out of two-out trouble in the fifth and the seventh, when the Rangers twice put two runners on for Ian Kinsler.

But the second baseman failed to deliver each time, striking out against Duensing in the fifth and bouncing out in the seventh.

"He [Duensing] was good," said Young, who committed a two-out error just ahead of Kubel's double in the ninth. "He was getting ahead in the count, and throwing everything for strikes."

Jeff Wilson, 817-390-7760

Looking for comments?

We welcome your comments on this story, but please be civil. Do not use profanity, hate speech, threats, personal abuse or any device to draw undue attention. Our policy requires those wishing to post here to use their real identity.

Our commenting policy | Facebook commenting FAQ | Why Facebook?





Saturday, November 22Full Scoreboard
No games today
Full Scoreboard
Saturday, November 22Full Scoreboard
Phoenix 11/22 7:00 PM ET
Indiana TV: FSN-AZ, FSN-IN
Miami 11/22 7:00 PM ET
Orlando TV: Sun Sports, FSN-FL
Toronto 11/22 7:30 PM ET
Cleveland TV: TSN, FSN-OH
Philadelphia 11/22 7:30 PM ET
New York TV: TCN-PHI, MSG
Dallas 11/22 8:00 PM ET
Houston TV: FSN-SW, CSN-HOU
Sacramento 11/22 8:00 PM ET
Minnesota TV: CSN-CA, FSN-N
Washington 11/22 8:30 PM ET
Milwaukee TV: CSN-DC+, FSN-WI
Brooklyn 11/22 8:30 PM ET
San Antonio TV: YES, FSN-SW
New Orleans 11/22 9:00 PM ET
Utah TV: NBA TV, ROOT-NW
Full Scoreboard
Week 12Full Scoreboard
Thursday
Kansas City20Final | Box
Oakland «24Gridiron Replay
Sunday
Cleveland 1:00 PM ET
Atlanta TV: CBS
Tampa Bay 1:00 PM ET
Chicago TV: FOX
Cincinnati 1:00 PM ET
Houston TV: CBS
Jacksonville 1:00 PM ET
Indianapolis TV: CBS
Green Bay 1:00 PM ET
Minnesota TV: FOX
Detroit 1:00 PM ET
New England TV: FOX
Tennessee 1:00 PM ET
Philadelphia TV: CBS
St. Louis 4:05 PM ET
San Diego TV: FOX
Arizona 4:05 PM ET
Seattle TV: FOX
Miami 4:25 PM ET
Denver TV: CBS
Washington 4:25 PM ET
San Francisco TV: CBS
Dallas 8:30 PM ET
NY Giants TV: NBC
Monday
NY Jets 7:00 PM ET
Buffalo TV: CBS
Baltimore 8:30 PM ET
New Orleans TV: ESPN
Full Scoreboard
Saturday, November 22Full Scoreboard
St. Louis22nd Prd 12:11 | Box
Ottawa1TV: FSN-MW, RDS, TSN5
Montreal 11/22 7:00 PM ET
Boston TV: NHLN, TVA, NESN
Detroit 11/22 7:00 PM ET
Toronto TV: CBC, FSN-DET
Minnesota 11/22 7:00 PM ET
Tampa Bay TV: FSN-N+, SUN
Pittsburgh 11/22 7:00 PM ET
NY Islanders TV: ROOT-PIT, MSG+
Columbus 11/22 7:00 PM ET
Philadelphia TV: FSN-OH, CSN-PHI
Buffalo 11/22 7:00 PM ET
Washington TV: MSG-BUF, CSN-DC
Florida 11/22 8:00 PM ET
Nashville TV: FSN-FL
Los Angeles 11/22 8:00 PM ET
Dallas TV: FSN-W, FSN-SW+
Carolina 11/22 9:00 PM ET
Colorado TV: FSN-CAR, Altitude
New Jersey 11/22 10:00 PM ET
Calgary TV: MSG+2, SNET
Chicago 11/22 10:00 PM ET
Edmonton TV: CBC, TVA Sports 2, WGN
Arizona 11/22 10:30 PM ET
San Jose TV: FSN-AZ, CSN-CA
Full Scoreboard