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By Michael Eldridge, The Sports Xchange September 1, 2013 7:30 PM
Minnesota Twins claimed the rubber match of a three-game series Sunday afternoon, defeating the Texas Rangers 4-2 at Rangers Ballpark.ARLINGTON, Texas -- The
By taking two-of-three from the Rangers, the Twins clinched the season series with Texas after the teams entered with three victories apiece to start the day. The win was just the second in the last eight games for Minnesota. "Winning two out of three here is a big thing," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "But we have to go on and play Houston for it to mean anything. We pitched well here and caught the ball very well here. You just have to look at the wins." The Twins (59-76) continue their six-game road trip in the Lone Star State when they begin a three-game set with the Astros on Monday. The Rangers' (79-57) offensive woes continued as they scored two runs or less in all three games of the series and five of their last eight games. Still, Texas finished with a major league-best 159 runs in August. "I wish you could explain it," Rangers manager Ron Washington said of his inconsistent offense. "I think that this series you have to explain it by the way that the Twins pitched. They pitched well against us." Texas, who begin a three-game series with Oakland on Monday, saw its lead in the American League West slip to just a game after the A's completed a sweep of the Tampa Bay Rays. "We aren't looking for help from anyone," Washington said. "Sometimes things happen you have no control over." Trailing 1-0 entering the top of the fifth, Minnesota used Texas' misfortune to rally against Rangers starter Travis Blackley. Jurickson Profar misfired on a double-play attempt, allowing Clete Thomas to reach second on a throwing error. Thomas advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on Josmil Pinto's first major league hit, a double down the left-field line. Doug Bernier bounced a shallow fly off the right-field foul line for a ground-rule double and scored when Alex Presley converted on the Twins' third consecutive hit to give the Twins a 3-1 lead. Presley finished with three hits in his first game with the Twins after being acquired Saturday from the Pirates for Justin Morneau. "I couldn't have envisioned a better start for myself here," Presley said. "To get a win today is awesome. To contribute and be put in the lineup was a great opportunity for me today." Presley joined Pinto as newcomers to the Twins lineup, Pinto making his first major league start with two hits. "They were as advertised," Gardenhire said. "Pinto came in and did a super job behind the plate and had a couple of big hits too. It was some nice performances out there with a different look out there. It was kind of fun to watch." Minnesota starter Kevin Correia, making his second start against Texas this season, continued to stifle the Rangers. Correia (9-10) held Texas scoreless in eight innings in his previous start and continued his streak through the first two innings until Mitch Moreland battled back from an 0-2 count and belted his 21st homer of the year to open scoring in the third. Correia responded by allowing just one more hit until the seventh. He worked around a Rangers' threat with two runners on in the seventh by forcing a double play. The right-hander allowed five hits scattered over seven innings pitched, striking out two and walking one. "Correia was fantastic out there," Gardnehire said. "He had a little bit of cramping going on after the seventh so we elected to take him out and not worry about it." Glen Perkins worked a perfect ninth with two strike outs for his 32nd save of the year. Neftali Feliz replaced Blackley on the mound in the fifth. Feliz made his first appearance for the Rangers since 2012 after undergoing Tommy John surgery. The former Rangers closer retired four of the five batters he faced, striking out two and allowing a hit. "He threw balls across the plate and used all of his pitches," Washington said. "He looked comfortable." Minnesota added a fourth run on a single in the eighth from Josh Willingham to score Presley. Texas countered in the bottom half with its second run, coming again on a homer by A.J. Pierzynski. NOTES: The Rangers made nine roster moves prior to Sunday's game. Most notably, they activated DH Lance Berkman, RHP Neftali Feliz, LHP Michael Kirkman and RHP Nick Tepesch from the disabled list. Texas also recalled RHP Cory Burns, C Robinson Chirinos and OF Jim Adduci from Triple-A Round Rock. ... The Rangers released RHP Justin Miller and designated OF Joe Benson for assignment.