Cole Hamels' troubles started in third inning
Cole Hamels allowed five runs in his shortest outing of the season, and the first-place Texas Rangers saw their streak of 13 straight unbeaten series come to an end with a 5-4 loss to the Minnesota Twins.
The worst team in the majors won 2 of 3 three weekend games at Target Field, and the Rangers are only 3-4 on a 10-game road trip that resumes Monday at Boston.
Shin-Soo Choo opened the game with a homer, and Hamels took a 1-0 lead into the third having allowed only one hit over the first two innings. But Minnesota got him for three runs on four hits in the third and somehow didn’t score in the fourth despite three hits.
But the Twins opened the fourth with two walks and two singles to chase Hamels, who threw 90 pitches, and then added a run when a video review overturned an out call at first base that would have ended the inning.
The Rangers got within one on a two-run two-out double by Choo in the seventh.
Hitting: Shin-Soo Choo hit the game’s second pitch for a leadoff homer, his second of the road trip, third of the season and 19th of his career. ... Ian Desmond drew walk and Nomar Mazara singled, but Adrian Beltre bounced into a double play and Prince Fielder lined to left field to end the threat. ... Those two outs were part of nine straight by Twins right-hander Kyle Gibson. ... Rougned Odor opened the fifth with a double and scored as Elvis Andrus followed with a single to right. ... An error in the seventh allowed the Rangers to rally for two two-out runs. Choo drove them both in with a double to left, but Desmond was just out on a grounder to third to end the inning and prevent the tying run from scoring. ... Choo had a chance to tie it in the ninth after a two-out double by Robinson Chirinos, but grounded out to second.
Pitching: Cole Hamels had his shortest outing of the season, allowing five runs on 10 hits in four-plus innings. ... He worked around a two-out walk in the first and a two-out single in the second to take a shutout into the third. He had two outs when he picked off Danny Santana, but first baseman Jurickson Profar never made a throw to second. ... Miguel Sano then reached on an infield single as Andrus couldn’t cleanly field a roller toward second base. Brian Dozier followed with a triple off the wall in right-center and scored as Robbie Grossman singled. ... The Rangers threw out two Twins runners at the plate on back-to-back plays in a scoreless fourth, but Minnesota opened the fifth with two walks and two singles to chance Hamels. ... Barnette worked two scoreless innings, and Matt Bush and Jake Diekman tossed a scoreless inning apiece.