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July 26, 2011

Final: Twins 9, Rangers 8

ARLINGTON -- Knowing his track record against C.J. Wilson, Minnesota Twins manager Ron Gardenhire didn’t start three-time batting champion Joe Mauer. But he proved to be a valuable pinch-hitter, along with Jim Thome.

Trailing 8-7 going into the ninth, Gardenhire called on those two well-respected hitters to spark a rally. And they did just that off Rangers closer Neftali Feliz, leading the Twins to a 9-8 victory on Tuesday at Rangers Ballpark.

The loss, along with an Angels victory, left the Rangers with a three-game lead in the American League West.

Clinging to an 8-7 lead going into the ninth, the Rangers turned to Feliz, who had converted his past six save opportunities. Feliz, though, gave up a one-out single to Delmon Young followed by a double off the left-field wall by Thome to put runners at second and third.

The Twins tied it after Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus bobbled an infield chopper by Tsuyoshi Nishioka. Mauer then brought in the go-ahead run with a double to left.

The Rangers showed some life in the ninth when Josh Hamilton led off with a single, but Twins closer Joe Nathan got through it for his eighth save.

-- Drew Davison

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