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August 23, 2012

Wrapping up Rangers' 10-6 victory over Twins

The Texas Rangers are 22 games over .500 for the first time this season after a 10-6 victory over the Twins on Thursday, and have won five of their past six games. They now have a six-game lead in the American League West over Oakland, which lost to Tampa Bay.

"We are playing good baseball," second baseman Ian Kinsler said. "That's the goal -- to be playing well going into September."

With the game tied 4-4 going into the eighth, the Rangers broke loose for six runs. Adrian Beltre had a one-out double, Nelson Cruz had an infield single and Mitch Moreland brought in the go-ahead run with a double into the left-center field gap. They added five more unearned runs, including two on a single by Josh Hamilton.

Hamilton had five RBIs on the night, and now leads the major leagues with 107.

"I was able to get into a good hitters' count, 2-0, and got a pitch up in the zone," Moreland said. "It was a big inning for us. AB got it all started with the first knock and we went from there."

Here are a few other postgame notes:

* Manager Ron Washington won his 500th game. He is the third manager in franchise history to reach that milestone, joining Bobby Valentine (581) and Johnny Oates (506). "I hope I can be here to win 500 more," Washington said.

* Roy Oswalt had a no-decision after allowing four runs (three earned) on seven hits with one walk and four strikeouts over 5 1/3 innings. He was pulled after giving up a pair of singles and a sacrifice bunt to start the sixth, and didn't look too pleased when he exited. "Everybody wants to stay out there. Who says they want out of a game?" Oswalt said. "I was more upset giving up those two hits, especially the first hit (on an 0-2 count)."

* Joe Nathan converted his 23rd consecutive save opportunity by getting the final out of the ninth. He has 25 saves on the season, and is one of just five active pitchers with seven career 25-save seasons (Jason Isringhausen, Francisco Cordero, Jonathan Papelbon and Mariano Rivera).

* Michael Young started the game but left early to attend the birth of his third son. His wife, Cristina, and the boy are doing well.

* Minnesota starter Scott Diamond was ejected in the third inning after throwing a pitch behind Josh Hamilton's head. It came a half-inning after Roy Oswalt had hit Twins catcher Joe Mauer with a pitch. Home-plate umpire Wally Bell immediately ejected Diamond, and then tossed Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire. "Any time in an umpire's judgement that they go in the head area, we have to take care of business," Bell said. "I felt at the time that he had to be ejected for it."

-- Drew Davison

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