ARLINGTON -- For eight innings Sunday night, a lightning bolt and an accompanying clap of thunder provided the only memorable moment of the Texas Rangers' first-half finale.
It turns out, though, that the Rangers' offense had captured some of that lightning in a bottle, but didn't make use of it until they were down to two outs in the ninth inning.
Michael Young singled home Adrian Beltre and Nelson Cruz to forge a 3-3 tie and send the Rangers' game against Minnesota into extra innings for the second straight night.
A loss would have dropped the Rangers' lead in the American League West to three games over Anaheim.
The game was still being played at press time in large part because of a 46-minute weather delay in the fourth inning that frightened the 43,268 at Rangers Ballpark as well as the players and umpires on the field.
Play was stopped shortly after 7 p.m. when a lightning bolt ahead of an approaching storm struck north of the stadium and was accompanied by a frighteningly loud clap of thunder.
Several players ran to their dugouts, and the umpires quickly left the field.
Rangers catcher Mike Napoli was the first to leave, and Twins left fielder Josh Willingham, who was at first base, sought safety by hitting the infield dirt.
Rain started falling 10 minutes later to contribute to the delay.
The game resumed in a pitcher's duel between Roy Oswalt and Cole DeVries. The unheralded rookie outpitched the former All-Star, who was much better than he had been in his previous two starts.
Oswalt took a shutout into the sixth inning, and easily retired the first two batters. But the Twins put together a Joe Mauer single and a walk to Josh Willingham with two outs, and Justin Morneau singled home Mauer.
The Twins added two runs in the ninth off Joe Nathan, who had logged two innings and 36 pitches Saturday night.
The All-Star closer, though, allowed a pair of singles to start the ninth and committed a throwing error on a sacrifice bunt by Brian Dozier to plate one run and put Twins at second and third with no outs.
After Jamey Carroll struck out, Denard Span delivered a sacrifice fly. That ended the night for Nathan, and Michael Kirkman got Ben Revere to end the inning.
Both runs were unearned, which proved critical as Ian Kinsler reached second on an error to start the ninth, went to third on a wild pitch and scored on a groundout by Elvis Andrus.
Josh Hamilton then popped out, but the Rangers found some life with two outs when Beltre singled and Cruz doubled. Both scored as Young delivered his third hit of the game to tie the score.
The Rangers were coming to bat in the 10th after Kirkman and Yoshinori Tateyama combined for a scoreless top half of the inning. Kirkman got the first out of the inning but left with a mild strain of his left quadriceps.
Until the ninth, the Rangers were headed toward a 3-0 loss. They had seen only one runner get past second base the first eight innings.
It was Kinsler, who collected a leadoff single in the first inning and advanced as far as third. But DeVries, who was in Triple A as recently as June 25, faced the minimum over the next six innings and allowed only two more hits.
Jeff Wilson, 817-390-7760