ARLINGTON -- Minnesota scored three two-out runs in the third inning Friday night, taking advantage of a key error by Mike Napoli, and the Rangers' offense couldn't solve Francisco Liriano en route to their fifth straight loss, 5-1.
The skid is the Rangers' longest of the season. They also lost Josh Hamilton in the fifth inning to back spasms after he dropped a flyball for a three-base error. Hamilton suffered back spasms April 29 and missed the next three games.
Martin Perez (1-1) was tagged with the loss after allowing four runs (two earned) over six innings in his second major-league start. With Derek Holland ready to come off the disabled list, Perez could be sent back to Triple A Round Rock on Saturday.
Perez was a strike away from exiting the third without allowing any runs, but Joe Mauer singled to right field to score Ben Revere. Mauer was at second base when Josh Willingham hit a high popup behind first base that Napoli tracked into shallow right field before muffing it just inside the foul line.
Mauer scooted home, and Willingham would score from second as Justin Morneau followed with a single.
The Twins would tack on a run in the fourth as Mauer lifted a sacrifice fly.
The Rangers' offense again was stymied by a left-hander.
Once considered a top-of-the-rotation starter, Liriano entered with a 2-7 record with a 5.40 ERA. But the Rangers had only three hits against him through five innings.
The started the sixth, though, with a single, a walk and an RBI single by Nelson Cruz to scored Adrian Beltre. But the rally quickly fizzled as Napoli bounced into a double play and Yorvit Torrealba struck out.
Minnesota countered the run in the seventh as Morneau ripped a two-out solo homer off Tanner Scheppers.
-- Jeff Wilson