Nick Tepesch allowed two runs in 6 2/3 innings Monday, and Elvis Andrus had a two-run double with two outs in the fifth inning as the Rangers pulled away to a 7-2 victory over the Twins to open a four-game series.
Chris Gimenez went 2 for 4 with a two-out two-run double and a run scored in the Rangers’ three-run eighth. Michael Choice had an RBI double in the two-run second for the Rangers, who have won three straight to climb above .500 since May 12.
The Rangers erased a solo homer by Trevor Plouffe with one out in the first by scoring twice in the second. Alex Rios singled with one out, stole second on the next pitch, and scored as Chris Gimenez followed with a single off Kevin Correia and Correia threw wildly to first.
Choice delivered two batters later with a double off the right-field wall.
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The Twins, though, took advantage of a hit batsman to start their half of the second, and Josh Willingham would score on a two-out single by Eduardo Escobar.
Correia had retired nine straight before the Rangers rallied with two outs in the fifth. Rougned Odor flipped a single into right and went to second as the next batter, Shin-Soo Choo, singled to left.
Both scored on a double by Elvis Andrus, who delivered his third straight hit with a runner in scoring position after an 0-for-29 skid in those situations.
Tepesch allowed two hits to open the Twins’ fifth, but a pickoff of leadoff man Aaron Hicks helped him post a scoreless inning that he duplicated in the sixth.
Tepesch allowed a two-out single to Hicks in the seventh before being replaced by Jason Frasor, who struck out Eduardo Escobar.
Andrus singled to start the eighth and stole second. After Mitch Moreland and Adrian Beltre flied out, the Twins chose to walk Rios to face Gimenez.
The catcher responded with a liner down the left-field line that scored both runners, and scored on a Leonys Martin single as he avoided the tag at home from Twins catcher Kurt Suzuki.