[June 30, 2014]ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Minnesota
Twins snapped a five-game losing streak using contributions from two
guys they will be counting on all season.
Designated hitter Kendrys Morales, who was hitting .172 in his
last 15 games, drove in the game-winning run with a double in the
ninth for the Twins, who also broke a nine-game losing skid on the
road with a 3-2 victory over the Texas Rangers on Sunday afternoon.
Left-handed pitcher Glen Perkins struck out the side in the ninth to
earn his 20th save and make a winner out of right-hander Kyle Gibson
(7-6), who held Texas to two runs on eight hits over eight innings.
Gibson, who struck out three and walked no one, won for the third
time in five starts in June. During the month he has a 3.16 ERA,
which included giving up seven runs in two innings in his last start
against the Los Angeles Angels. Before that loss, Gibson hadn't
allowed a run in 22 consecutive innings.
"It was a big game for us," said Gibson, who has a 1.29 ERA in two
starts against the Rangers this season. "All I was trying to do is
give our team a chance to win and turn it around before we go home."
Sam Fuld, pinch-running for Josh Willingham, who got on reached base
with a one-out single, scored the winning run from first on Morales'
base hit that just found its way inside third base.
Minnesota shortstop Jorge Polanco, making his first major league
start, had a double and RBI, and first baseman Joe Mauer extended
his hitting streak to 10 games with a run-scoring single in the
Twins two-run third.
"It was a tough road trip against tough teams," manager Ron
Gardenhire said of the Twins six games against Los Angeles and
Texas. "Gibby did exactly what we hoped he would. He was fantastic.
"Couple of breaks went our way and we won a ballgame. It all worked
out for us."
Right-handed reliever Joakim Soria (1-3) took the loss for Texas
(37-44). The game marked the first time since 2011 that Soria has
allowed earned runs in consecutive outings.
Third baseman Adrian Beltre had a run-scoring hit in Texas' half of
the first and catcher Robinson Chirinos, who was 3-for-3, tied the
game with a solo home run in the fifth.
The Twins (37-43) avoided being swept for the fifth time this
Texas right-handed pitcher Colby Lewis earned a no-decision, giving
up two runs on five hits over six innings. The game marked his first
quality start of the season.
Lewis began the season with 13 consecutive non-quality starts,
tying a major league record originally set by Seattle's Steve Trout
"The ultimate goal is to win the game and we didn't win, but it was
a quality start and built off last start," said Lewis, who went a
season-high 6 1/3 innings in his last start, an loss to Detroit in
which he surrendered four runs.
"I felt like I threw the ball real similar to last start," Lewis
said. "Led Mauer the whole at-bat, threw one fastball in and he hits
it for a base hit, so I felt like it was one of those days I really
commanded the fastball."
The Rangers put runners at the corners with one out in the seventh,
but Gibson worked around the jam by inducing a groundout double play
from left fielder Michael Choice, 6-4-3.
The Twins took a lead in the third, starting with a leadoff double
from third baseman Eduardo Escobar and another, off a check swing,
with one out from Polanco. Polanco came one on first baseman Joe
Mauer's run-scoring single.
"They did what they had to do to win the game, we didn't," Texas
manager Ron Washington said. "Even if it was checked swings and all
that stuff, it's baseball. You can't control what happens sometimes
and you can't control what inning it's going to happen in."
NOTES: Sunday marked the halfway point in the season for Texas. The
game was No. 80 for Minnesota. ... SS Jorge Polanco, currently the
youngest player in the major leagues at 20, made his major league
debut for Minnesota. Texas 2B Rougned Odor is also 20, though a few
months older. ... Texas 3B Adrian Beltre entered play Sunday hitting
.400 for the month of June, second in the big leagues to only to
Houston's Jose Altuve (.414).