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July 27, 2011

Final: Twins 7, Rangers 2

ARLINGTON – Bullpen issues hurt the Texas Rangers for the second consecutive night, furthering the need for relief help with the trade deadline approaching on Sunday.

On Tuesday, closer Neftali Feliz gave up two runs in the ninth. It didn’t get any better on Wednesday, as the bullpen gave up three more runs in what became a 7-2 loss to the Minnesota Twins at Rangers Ballpark.

With the loss, the Rangers (59-46) lead in the American League West dwindled to two games. The Angels beat the Indians earlier in the day with a no-hitter thrown by Ervin Santana.

The Rangers were in the game all night. At least until the top of the ninth.

The Twins built on their 4-1 lead that inning, adding three more runs with a two-out rally against Mark Lowe. Alexi Casilla doubled, Joe Mauer drew an intentional walk, Michael Cuddyer reached on an error and then Jason Kubel delivered the knockout punch with a bases-clearing double.

Up until that point, the Rangers had a chance even though they had struggled offensively against Twins starter Brian Duensing, scoring a single run off him in the fourth.

But they had given themselves several scoring opportunities.

In the fifth, the Rangers had runners at second and third with two outs, but Ian Kinsler struck out looking. In the sixth, Elvis Andrus led off with an infield single, and tagged up to second on a deep fly ball by Josh Hamilton. With Michael Young at the plate, Andrus was caught stealing third. Young eventually singled, but no damage could be done.

The Rangers had something going in the seventh, too. Yorvit Torrealba drew a two-out walk and Endy Chavez followed with a single to center. But Twins reliever Matt Capps ended that threat by inducing a grounder by Kinsler.

Rangers starter Colby Lewis pitched well enough to keep the team in the game, allowing four runs on eight hits over 6 2/3 innings. He gave up solo home runs to Mauer and Cuddyer in the first and fourth, respectively, and then allowed two more runs in the fifth.

It is Lewis’ first loss since June 11 – which also came against the Twins.

-- Drew Davison

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