Twins score twice in ninth, rally past Rangers 5-4
MINNEAPOLIS (AP)—Ian Kinsler chose an inopportune time to end his 50-game errorless streak.
“How about that? Maybe in Little League, but I’ve never seen a game end like that. That was pretty fun,” Torii Hunter said.
Minnesota, eliminated from postseason contention despite the win, trailed 4-3 when Michael Cuddyer opened the inning by driving a 2-2 pitch from Joaquin Benoit (7-4) into the left-field seats. Ford walked, Brian Buscher sacrificed, Nick Punto struck out and Bartlett hit a popup to short right field that hit the glove of the backpedaling Kinsler.
“There wasn’t really anything special. It wasn’t the dome or anything like that. A bug didn’t fly in my eye like that. I just dropped it,” said Kinsler, whose previous error was June 20 against the Chicago Cubs.
Texas manager Ron Washington was most upset about the lack of fundamentals by Kinsler on the play—trying to catch the ball near his body, instead of above his head.
“Anybody can make a mistake, but I’m just faulting the carelessness. If everything was right in the way he tried to secure that ball and then he drops it. that is the way it goes,” Washington said.
The Twins were behind 3-2 in the eighth when Bartlett singled, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a single by Hunter. But Travis Metcalf hit a solo homer off closer Joe Nathan (3-3) in the top of the ninth to put Texas ahead 4-3.
“Yeah, we’re accustomed to playing for a playoff spot at this time of year. Four out of five years we’ve been there, but we’ve still got prideful people. Nobody’s going to quit; nobody’s gonna roll over; nobody’s going to give up,” Cuddyer said.
Texas took the lead in the seventh on a pair of miscues by reliever Juan Rincon.
Ramon Vazquez followed with a bunt that Rincon fielded before throwing wildly to third base in an attempt to get Quiroz, who crossed home to make it 3-2 when the ball rolled toward the Twins bullpen.
Edinson Volquez pitched well for Texas, limiting the Twins to two runs—one earned—and five hits in six innings. He tied a career high with six strikeouts while throwing 105 pitches.
Twins starter Kevin Slowey, starting in place of Boof Bonser, was just as stingy. He allowed four hits in six innings and struck out a career high seven. It was the sixth time in his nine starts that he received a no decision.
Unlike previous games, Slowey kept the ball down and kept the ball in the park. He entered the game allowing 16 home runs in 48 innings.
“Gardy and (pitching coach Rick Anderson) have been very patient with me my first seven, eight starts, and in between starts we’ve worked on that kind of stuff, keeping the ball down and letting your defense make plays for you,” Slowey said.
Volquez hit Hunter leading off the second and walked Cuddyer two batters later. Minnesota pulled a double-steal, with the low throw from Quiroz getting away from third baseman Metcalf and allowing Hunter to score.
Minnesota took a 2-1 lead in the sixth when Mauer hit a Volquez offering three rows into the seats in left-center. It was his first home run since July 21, a span of 152 plate appearances.
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire was ejected in the eighth inning after arguing a call with first base umpire Jeff Nelson. … Hunter tied a career high with his 102nd RBI, first set in 2003. … Benoit suffered his fifth blown save in 10 chances. … In 24 appearances since the All-Star break, Rincon has a 7.40 ERA, allowing 20 earned runs in 24 1-3 innings. … Garrett Jones got his first start of the year in left field for Minnesota. He went 0-for-2 and is in an 0-for-12 slump. … Kinsler, in a 1-for-18 slump, struck out as a pinch hitter in the ninth.