A series against Texas appears to be just what Minnesota needed to get its offense back on track.
The Twins will try to put together another big night at the plate Wednesday when they continue their four-game series with the Rangers at the Metrodome.
Minnesota (23-22) has scored 18 runs in the first two games of this series, winning both. The Twins managed only eight runs while losing two of three in Colorado over the weekend and had scored three or fewer runs in seven of 13 games heading into this set.
On Tuesday, however, the Twins had a 9-0 run lead after three innings en route to an 11-4 win over Texas (22-25). Glen Perkins earned his first win in his third major league start.
“Obviously you want to get out there and score some runs for your pitcher,” catcher Joe Mauer said. “We’ve been struggling to get guys in for the last couple of weeks. So tonight it was important - keep attacking the zone.”
Alexi Casilla, Mike Lamb, and Delmon Young each had two RBIs for the Twins, who won for the third time in eight games. Casilla, playing in his fifth game since being recalled from Triple-A Rochester, had three RBIs in Minnesota’s 12-inning, 7-6 win on Monday.
“Kind of a relaxing evening after a long night last night,” manager Ron Gardenhire said.
The Rangers, meanwhile, have dropped three straight after winning nine of 11. They have allowed 23 runs during the skid with their starters compiling a 10.80 ERA.
Texas failed to get an extra base for the first time this season on Tuesday.
“It was just one of those nights,” manager Ron Washington said. “We’ve got to take our shower and let that one go down the drain.
Now, the Rangers are hoping a former Twins starter can help them end their slide.
Sidney Ponson (2-0, 3.52 ERA) pitched for Minnesota last season, going 2-5 with a 6.93 ERA in seven starts before he was released on May 22. The Rangers signed him to a minor league deal on March 9, and he was called up on April 26 - to face the Twins.
Ponson gave up five runs - one earned - in 5 1-3 innings in that outing, but the Rangers lost 12-6. Over his career, Ponson has gone 9-2 with a 2.56 ERA in 14 appearances - 13 starts - against Minnesota.
Ponson won his next two starts for the Rangers, giving up just one run in each, but has allowed 13 runs in 10 1-3 innings in his last two. He gave up seven runs - three earned - in five innings but escaped without a decision in the Rangers’ 16-8 win over Houston on Friday.
Minnesota counters with Nick Blackburn (4-2, 3.77), who won his second straight start on Friday, allowing two runs in seven innings of a 4-2 victory in Colorado. Blackburn, who made six relief appearances in 2007 before entering the rotation for 2008, has gone at least six innings in his last six outings.
Blackburn has faced the Rangers once before, giving up career highs of five earned runs and 11 hits in six innings of Minnesota’s 10-inning, 6-5 loss in Texas on April 25.