May 29: Rangers (28-26) 5, Twins (24-27) 4
After coughing up an early 3-0 lead, the Texas Rangers rallied with single runs in the sixth and eighth frames to defeat the Minnesota Twins 5-4 on the road. Rookie Rougned Odor’s sacrifice fly in the eighth put Texas on top for good.
The Rangers got the first three runs on the board in the top of the second with clutch hitting from Shin-Soo Choo. Choo, batting with the bases loaded and two outs, delivered a base-clearing double to left field on an 83-mph curveball offering from Minnesota starter Samuel Deduno.
In the bottom half the second inning, the Twins threatened against starter Nick Martinez but failed to plate across any runs. Oswaldo Arcia opened the frame with a lead-off double before back-to-back walks to Josh Willingham and Jason Kubel loaded the bases with nobody out. Martinez then got a force out at home for the first out, and got Eduardo Escobar to line into a double play to end the threat.
In the third, the Twins finally broke through as a Trevor Plouffe RBI single put Minnesota within two. With two outs, Willingham singled home Joe Mauer to cut the Texas lead to just one.
Willingham continued to be a pain in Martinez’s side in the bottom of the fifth when he gave the Twins their only lead of the game when he homered to center field with two outs.
Now trailing 4-3, the Rangers got an RBI single from Robinson Chirinos in the top half of the sixth to knot things at four. Chirinos fought back from an 0-2 count to deliver the game-tying base knock. His base hit prompted the Minnesota coaching staff to remove Deduno from the game after 102 pitches.
The game remained tied until Odor’s big sac fly in the eighth gave the Rangers a lead they would not relinquish. Odor lifted a fly ball to center with one out and a runner on third to plate home Leonys Martin for the go-ahead score.
In the ninth, with two outs and closer Joakim Soria on the mound, Arcia singled to right to bring up the hot-hitting Willingham as the potential winning run. Soria was able to strike Willingham out looking to end the ninth and the game for his 10th save.
Deduno finished the game with 5.1 innings and four earned runs to his line. He struck out two and walked one. Martinez came out of the game with similar numbers as he completed 5.2 frames, allowed four runs, fanned two and gave up two free passes. Each pitcher gave up nine hits.