ARLINGTON – Michael Young left the game early to attend the birth of his third son, and his replacement filled in nicely.
Mitch Moreland ripped an RBI double to the left-center field gap to score the go-ahead run and sparked a six-run eighth, Josh Hamilton had five RBIs and the Texas Rangers went on to a 10-6 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Thursday night at Rangers Ballpark.
With the victory, the Rangers have a six-game lead in the American League West over Oakland, which lost to Tampa Bay. Texas is 22 games over .500 for the first time this season (73-51), and has won five of its last six games.
With the game tied 4-4 going into the eighth, Adrian Beltre doubled down the left-field line off Twins reliever Jared Burton. Beltre moved to third on a single by Nelson Cruz, and scored on Moreland’s double.
The Twins then gifted the Rangers a run when shortstop Pedro Florimon bobbled a grounder by Geovany Soto, allowing Cruz to cross the plate. Four more Texas runs scored on a bases-loaded walk to Ian Kinsler, an infield single by Elvis Andrus and a two-run single by Hamilton.
The Twins scored two runs off Tanner Scheppers in the ninth, but Joe Nathan got the final out of the game for his 25th save.
Rangers starter Roy Oswalt took a no-decision, allowing four runs (three earned) on seven hits with one walk and four strikeouts over 5 1/3 innings.
Minnesota starter Scott Diamond was ejected in the third inning after throwing a pitch behind Hamilton’s head. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire was also tossed by home plate umpire Wally Bell.
The throw was a half-inning after Oswalt had hit Minnesota catcher Joe Mauer with a pitch.-- Drew Davison