Rangers-Twins Preview


After a rough few days at the plate, the Minnesota Twins finally scored enough to end their skid.

The Twins try to make it two wins in a row as they continue a four-game home series against the Texas Rangers on Wednesday night.

Minnesota (24-25) hit .186 and was outscored 23-6 during a season high-tying four-game losing streak before pulling out a 4-3 walkoff win Tuesday. Eduardo Nunez delivered a tying RBI single with two outs in the ninth, then scored the winning run when Rangers closer Joakim Soria bobbled the ball on a softly hit grounder to the left of the mound.

"I'm the guy getting comfortable on this team. I'm the new guy here. I try to help the team to win, and I did it," said Nunez, called up from Triple-A Rochester on May 8.

Oswaldo Arcia went 2 for 4 with a home run and double in his second game since coming off the disabled list. The Twins are 21-8 when they score at least four runs.

The Rangers (26-26) are 5-2 in their last seven after going 2 for 10 with runners in scoring position. Scott Baker threw six strong innings in place of the injured Yu Darvish and was in line for the win before Soria blew his first save in nine chances.

"He's human," manager Ron Washington said. "There's no perfection in the game of baseball. The guy has done everything we've asked him to do and tonight he just didn't get it done. ... It was right there for us. We just didn't put it away, and that's on all of us."

The Rangers will try to bounce back against Kyle Gibson (4-4, 4.68 ERA), who has been wildly inconsistent. The right-hander has posted a 12.42 ERA in his losses and a 0.81 mark in his other five starts.

Gibson gave up five runs in as many innings in Friday's 6-2 loss at San Francisco. While he didn't walk anyone for the first time this season, he gave up two homers after allowing one in his first eight outings.

"It's just a young pitcher who's still learning and overthrowing," manager Ron Gardenhire said.

Gibson will be making his first appearance against Texas, which activated Joe Saunders (0-1, 9.82) from the disabled list. The veteran left-hander has been sidelined since April 4, when he was hit on the ankle by a comebacker in an 8-1 road loss to Tampa Bay in his season debut.

"It could have been a blessing in disguise. Maybe I wasn't ready to go through April," Saunders told the Rangers' official website. "I'm ready to go. You take my first start at Triple-A, two runs in five innings. My last outing, one run in seven innings. I'm getting a lot of ground balls. I feel like my mechanics are right on point."

Saunders is 3-2 with a 4.88 ERA in five starts against the Twins, last facing them in 2010. He's baffled Kurt Suzuki over the years, holding him to two hits in 31 at-bats. Joe Mauer has also struggled against Saunders, going 1 for 11.

Mauer is a career .230 hitter against Texas, his second-lowest mark against any AL team. He is 2 for 16 in his last four home games.