Twins frustrate Rangers again, take series

Posted Sunday, Sep. 01, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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This isn’t the type of series the Texas Rangers expected after their road sweep of Seattle in which they knocked around Felix Hernandez in the finale.

After all, the Minnesota Twins were coming to town and had lost six of their past seven. The Twins’ first two starters entered with 5-plus ERAs. and Sunday’s starter Kevin Correia had only one win in his past seven starts.

Numbers, though, don’t always tell the story.

The Rangers’ bats, as they’ve been prone to do all season, went silent over the weekend, and Correia and the Twins polished off a 4-2 victory in the series finale to leave Rangers Ballpark by taking two of three.

The Rangers combined to score six runs over the series, and went 1 for 15 with runners in scoring position. The lone hit in those situations came from Leonys Martin, who delivered a walk-off single Saturday.

“It was a frustrating series,” second baseman Ian Kinsler said. “We didn’t do what we wanted to do and that’s it. It’s over with and time to move on.”

The Rangers next move on to Oakland for a pivotal series against the A’s, and will open it with a one-game lead in the American League West. It shouldn’t be hard to forget about the Twins’ series that ended with a dud.

It started off not too badly for the Rangers. Mitch Moreland led off the third inning with a solo homer and 1-0 lead, and Travis Blackley opened with four scoreless innings.

But Blackley ran into trouble and bad luck in the fifth.

Chris Colabello led off with a single, and Blackley appeared to induce a double-play grounder by Clete Thomas. An errant throw to first by Jurickson Profar, however, produced only one out and allowed Thomas to reach second.

A sliding Colabello made contract with Profar during the throw, but Profar said: “That’s no excuse. I should make a good throw. I should make that play.”

Josmil Pinto then drove in Thomas with a double to left, and Pinto scored on an unconventional ground-rule double by Doug Bernier, who saw his pop-up fall inside the right-field line and bounce into the stands.

Alex Presley followed with a soft liner to left that scored Bernier, and ended Blackley’s day after 81 pitches.

“I kept trying to stick to the game plan, trying to get them to hit it, and it kind of fell their way,” Blackley said. “Just more disappointed that I couldn’t go deeper. They made me work pretty good today.”

Neftali Feliz entered to make his 2013 debut, got out of the fifth and worked a scoreless sixth in one of the Rangers’ few highlights of the day. Feliz said it felt “great” to be back on the mound, and is looking forward to helping the team down the stretch.

The Twins, meanwhile, went on to extend their lead to 4-1 in the eighth. Presley scored on an infield single by Josh Willingham as Kinsler tried to make a play, but his throw to first was late and wide of the bag.

The Rangers’ offense couldn’t overcome that deficit.

Correia, who shut out the Rangers over eight innings on April 28, continued his dominance against them. The Rangers had a few chances, but failed to capitalize.

After Moreland homered to start the third, Geovany Soto doubled and moved to third on a groundout by Martin. But Profar struck out swinging and Kinsler popped out to end the threat. A few more opportunities were ruined by double plays in the fourth and seventh.

Correia exited after the seventh, and pinch-hitter A.J. Pierzynski had a one-out solo homer in the eighth to make it a 4-2 game. Martin followed with a single, but that inning ended on groundouts by Profar and Kinsler.

How to explain the offensive struggles in the series?

“I wish I could explain it,” manager Ron Washington said. “This series here you’ve just got to explain it by how the Minnesota Twins pitched. They pitched well against us.”

Drew Davison, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @drewdavison

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Tuesday, September 23Full Scoreboard
Kansas City2Top 5th | Box
Cleveland0@theBallpark | TV: FSN-KC, STO
Baltimore2Top 4th | Box
NY Yankees0@theBallpark | TV: MASN, MY9, ESPN
NY Mets1Bottom 5th | Box
Washington0@theBallpark | TV: SNY, MASN 2
Seattle2Bottom 5th | Box
Toronto1@theBallpark | TV: ROOT-NW, SNET
Chicago WSox0Bottom 4th | Box
Detroit0@theBallpark | TV: CSN-CHI, FSN-DET
Pittsburgh0Top 4th | Box
Atlanta2@theBallpark | TV: ROOT-PIT, SPSO
Tampa Bay0Bottom 4th | Box
Boston0@theBallpark | TV: Sun Sports, NESN
Milwaukee0Bottom 4th | Box
Cincinnati2@theBallpark | TV: FSN-WI, FSN-OH
Philadelphia0Top 5th | Box
Miami1@theBallpark | TV: CSN-PHI, FSN-FL
St. Louis0Bottom 1st | Box
Chicago Cubs0@theBallpark | TV: FSN-MW, WCIU
Houston0Bottom 1st | Box
Texas0@theBallpark | TV: CSN-HOU, FSN-SW
Arizona0Bottom 1st | Box
Minnesota0@theBallpark | TV: FSN-AZ, FSN-N
LA Angels 9/23 10:05 PM ET
Oakland TV: FSN-W, CSN-CA
San Francisco 9/23 10:10 PM ET
Los Angeles TV: CSN-BA, SprtsNet LA, ESPN
Colorado 9/23 10:10 PM ET
San Diego TV: ROOT-RM, FSN-SD
Full Scoreboard
Tuesday, September 23Full Scoreboard
No games today
Full Scoreboard
Week 4Full Scoreboard
Thursday
NY Giants 8:25 PM ET
Washington TV: CBS, NFL Network
Sunday
Carolina 1:00 PM ET
Baltimore TV: CBS
Green Bay 1:00 PM ET
Chicago TV: FOX
Buffalo 1:00 PM ET
Houston TV: CBS
Tennessee 1:00 PM ET
Indianapolis TV: CBS
Detroit 1:00 PM ET
NY Jets TV: FOX
Miami 1:00 PM ET
Oakland TV: CBS
Tampa Bay 1:00 PM ET
Pittsburgh TV: FOX
Jacksonville 4:05 PM ET
San Diego TV: CBS
Atlanta 4:25 PM ET
Minnesota TV: FOX
Philadelphia 4:25 PM ET
San Francisco TV: FOX
New Orleans 8:30 PM ET
Dallas TV: NBC
Monday
New England 8:30 PM ET
Kansas City TV: ESPN
Full Scoreboard
Tuesday, September 23Full Scoreboard
Pittsburgh02nd Prd 9:11 | Box
Columbus0
Carolina02nd Prd 9:52 | Box
Buffalo0
Philadelphia02nd Prd | Box
Toronto1TV: NHL Network
Boston22nd Prd | Box
Montreal1
Nashville02nd Prd | Box
Tampa Bay0
Detroit 9/23 8:30 PM ET
Chicago 
San Jose 9/23 9:00 PM ET
Vancouver TV: NHL Network (JIP)
Arizona 9/23 10:00 PM ET
Anaheim 
Vancouver 9/23 10:30 PM ET
San Jose 
Full Scoreboard