Twins come up short against Rangers
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Adrian Beltre homered and rookie Justin Grimm won his second consecutive start and the Texas Rangers beat the Minnesota Twins 4-3 Friday.
Lance Berkman, Nelson Cruz and Ian Kinsler each had RBI doubles for the Rangers, who won for the seventh time in their past eight games.
Grimm (2-0) followed up his career-best nine-strikeout effort against the Seattle Mariners by shutting out Minnesota for seven innings, allowing five hits and no walks with four strikeouts.
The 24-year-old right-hander, filling in for the injured Matt Harrison, has allowed just one earned run in his past 15 1-3 innings.
Rookie outfielder Oswaldo Arcia hit a three-run homer off Joe Nathan in the ninth inning after Joe Ortiz allowed a pair of hits, but he got Ryan Doumit to fly out to earn his eighth save.
Scott Diamond (1-2) gave up three runs and 12 hits in 6 1-3 innings as the Twins lost their third straight and were shut out for the second time this season.
Texas took an early lead with back-to-back one-out doubles from Elvis Andrus and Berkman in the first inning. Berkman scored two batters later on a double from Cruz, who has driven in at least one run in six straight games and 13 total during that stretch.
Cruz’s six-game RBI streak matches Cincinnati’s Todd Frazier and Detroit’s Prince Fielder for the longest in the major leagues this season.
Beltre added a 419-foot homer in the sixth inning, his fourth of the season. Kinsler scored Craig Gentry for the Rangers’ fourth run with a two-out double in the ninth.
The Rangers missed chances to add to their lead, twice getting thrown out at home plate. Geovany Soto was out trying to score from first on Mitch Moreland’s second-inning double, and Andrus was tagged out trying to advance after Brian Dozier’s throw to third base skipped away from Trevor Plouffe in the third.
Minnesota’s biggest threat against Grimm came in the first inning on a Kinsler throwing error that allowed Joe Mauer to reach first base. Justin Morneau hit a two-out double to put runners on first and second, but Chris Parmelee flied out to end the inning.
The Twins managed just four base runners the next seven innings before Josh Willingham doubled and Morneau singled off Ortiz to lead off the ninth. Ortiz struck out Parmelee before giving way to Nathan, who struck out Plouffe before Arcia’s home run. Nathan earned saves in back-to-back games for the first time this season.
Notes: With back-to-back victories against Minnesota, the Rangers will remain undefeated through eight series to start the season. Texas has won five series and split two. ... Texas utility man Jeff Baker hasn’t started since bruising his left knee making a diving catch on Tuesday, but was available to pinch hit. ... Mauer went hitless for the second straight game, just the second time he’s done so in back-to-back games this season. He’s just 2 for 17 (.118) in his past five games after going 24 for 61 to start the season. ... The Rangers will start left-hander Derek Holland (1-1) on Saturday. Pedro Hernandez (0-0) will go for the Twins.