May 28: Rangers (27-26) 1, Twins (24-26) 0
A two-out, run-scoring single off the bat of Luis Sardinas was all the offense the Texas Rangers would get, and need, as starter Jeremy Saunders and company kept the Minnesota Twins off the board in a 1-0 win. Saunders went five scoreless.
Neither team had much success with runners in scoring position in the game as Texas went 1-for-5 and Minnesota was held to an 0-for-8 line.
The Rangers got runners on second and third in the second but failed to get anyone across when Robinson Chirinos struck out swinging to end the threat.
In the bottom half of the second, it was the Twins’ turn to threaten and fall short. They got runners on second and third with just one out, but could not get the runner in. Saunders, Adrian Beltre and Chirinos got the runner on third — Josh Willingham — in a rundown, and eventually retired him for the second out. Saunders then got Brain Dozier to fly out to end the frame.
The top of the seventh definitely marked the most critical part of the game for either team. With Jared Burton on to pitch in relief, Michael Choice grounded out for the first out and Leonys Martin singled on a bunt ground ball. Martin then stole second base on a play that needed to be reviewed by the umpires. Following a Chirinos strikeout, Sardinas came through in the clutch with his line-drive single to left. He worked a 2-0 count against Burton and laced a two-seamer into the outfield for the game’s only run.
Down 1-0, the Twins just added to their frustration as they once again got a runner to third base with two outs in an inning and failed to score. Eduardo Escobar singled to open the frame, was sacrificed over to second by Danny Santana and moved to third on a wild pitch by Neal Cotts. He was left 90 feet away from tying the game when Joe Mauer struck out swinging on a full-count slider offering from Cotts.
In the ninth, closer Joakim Soria didn’t mess around as he retired the Minnesota batters in order for his ninth save of the year. He threw only 10 pitches – eight for strikes.
Saunders finished the game with five scoreless frames and 97 pitches thrown. He fanned six and walked two.
Shawn Tolleson got the win after 1.2 of scoreless relief in the sixth and seventh frames. He walked one and gave up one hit.
Minnesota starter Kyle Gibson had some tough luck in the game as he threw six scoreless frames of his own and got the no decision. He struck out four and didn’t walk a batter in the game.