Minnesota scored four times in the first inning Saturday against Chi Chi Gonzalez, and the Twins kept on scoring en route to a 17-5 victory over the Texas Rangers.
Only one of the four runs was earned against Gonzalez, who recorded only two outs and threw 38 pitches before he was removed. Lousy defense and the short start set into motion the Twins scored seven runs against Cesar Ramos and six against Luke Jackson.
Rookie Max Kepler drove in the game’s first run on a fielder’s choice and hit two three-run homers to reach a Twins single-game rookie-record seven RBIs by the fifth inning.
The Rangers got homers from Ryan Rua and Robinson Chirinos in the fourth.
Hitting: There were hits to be had against Tyler Duffey, but not nearly enough runs. The Rangers had eights hits in six innings against the rookie, including home runs in the third inning by Ryan Rua and Robinson Chirinos. ... Shin-Soo Choo went deep in the seventh, and Nomar Mazara’s opposite-field off the wall was the Rangers’ 10th hit.
Pitching: Chi Chi Gonzalez recorded only two outs in his second start of the season, though the defense in the first inning missed three more. ... It all started with a Gonzalez throw to second bases after a comebacker to the mound. He threw low to second, and the ball clanged off Rougned Odor’s glove for an error that loaded the bases. ... The next batter, Max Kepler, followed with a chopper to first baseman Mitch Moreland, who elected to throw home rather than take the sure out. The throw was late as a run scored, and the bases were still loaded. ... Gonzalez looked to be out of the inning as Eduardo Escobar hit a chopper to second, but the ball was stuck in Odor’s glove and then Elvis Andrus dropped the flip and barely recovered to get a force out as a run scored. ... Gonzalez was gone two batters later after a two-run single by Juan Centeno made it 4-0. Only one of the four runs against Gonzalez, who threw 38 pitches was earned. ... Cesar Ramos didn’t provide much relief allowing seven runs in 2 1/3 innings. ... Luke Jackson had a perfect fourth inning, but the Twins opened the fifth with three singles for a run and then got back-to-back walks and sacrifice fly for two more runs. ... Max Kepler, who hit a three-run homer off Ramos in the second, followed with a three-run homer. ... Shawn Tolleson and Tony Barnette got the next six outs before catcher Bryan Holaday and got four straight outs.