Hamilton, Young push Rangers past Twins and Pavano
“I can make a mistake in the field and clear it right away and move on,” Young said. “It has nothing to with what I’m going to do later in the game.”
While the third baseman’s errors in the fourth and sixth innings didn’t lead to any Minnesota runs, Young’s go-ahead hit off Carl Pavano(notes) (15-9) came after hardluck Rangers starter Colby Lewis(notes) was already out of the game.
“It would have been nice to have gotten Colby a win. He’s been pitching really well for us, and keeping us in every game,” Young said. “Tonight it was two good guys going against each other having good years.”
Young’s two-out single ruined Pavano’s sixth complete game of the season.
Darren Oliver(notes) (1-1) pitched 1 1-3 scoreless innings after relieving Lewis with one out in the seventh and runners on second and third. Hard-throwing rookie Neftali Feliz(notes) worked the ninth for his 32nd save in 35 chances.
Lewis allowed three runs over 6 1-3 innings, missing on his seventh attempt at getting his 10th victory. Lewis left with the score tied, and is 0-5 with a 3.35 ERA in his last seven starts—a span when the Rangers have scored a total of seven runs while he was still in the game.
The last win for Lewis was July 16 at Boston. The right-hander has gone at least six innings every time since, but left four games before Texas had even scored.
“I don’t really care,” Lewis said. “If we win every time I come out and pitch and get a quality start. The main goal is to get this thing wrapped up and focus on the postseason.”
Texas maintained an 8 1/2 -game lead in the AL West over Oakland, the largest division lead in baseball. Minnesota has a 3 1/2 -game lead in the AL Central over the Chicago White Sox, who beat Baltimore on Tuesday night.
Blanco went the opposite way for a one-out double in the seventh, a ball that landed on the left-field line, and scored on Young’s single. Pavano got Hamilton on an inning-ending infield popup, stranding two runners.
Pavano struck out five and walked two in his second complete-game loss this season.
“They put some good swings on some balls and I beat myself,” Pavano said. “The home run was a good pitch, but other than that I gave up hits with two outs. That’s the ball game right there.”
The Twins tied the game at 3-all against Lewis after Delmon Young(notes) ended an 0-for-12 slump with an infield single to start the seventh. Danny Valencia(notes) singled and Alexi Casilla(notes) doubled off the right-field wall before Oliver took over.
Hamilton hit the first pitch of the fourth over the left-center field wall for a 2-all tie. Texas went ahead later in the inning when Blanco’s RBI ground-rule double followed two defensive lapses.
Bengie Molina(notes) reached on a two-out double that dropped between right fielder Jason Kubel(notes) and center fielder Span and rolled to the wall. Moreland then got an infield single on a grounder that second baseman Orlando Hudson(notes) backhanded before short-hopping the throw to first.
“I called him off, I stopped then he stopped,” Kubel said.
“It looked like Kubel was falling and then Denard was flying in there and I think he shied off a little bit. Those are things that just can’t happen,” manager Ron Gardenhire said. “Pav’s going along pretty good and we end up costing ourselves two runs in that inning. That’s the difference in the ball game.”
The Rangers needed a double play to get out of the sixth after Young’s throwing error put two runners on with no outs.
The Twins got off to a quick start the night after being held to one hit.
After Span lined out to Lewis to start the game, Hudson and Joe Mauer(notes)— whose one-out single in the ninth Monday was the only Minnesota hit—followed with consecutive singles. Both scored on Michael Cuddyer’s(notes) double when center fielder Julio Borbon(notes) let the ball get past him after trying to make a diving catch of the sinking liner.
Borbon did make a diving catch on Span’s liner to end the fifth, and in the ninth made a leaping catch on the track to rob Valencia of an extra-base hit.
Texas got its first run in the third when Elvis Andrus’(notes) smart move on the basepaths—he stopped and initially avoided being tagged—delayed an inning-ending double play long enough for Borbon to score.