MINNEAPOLIS – The Texas Rangers couldn’t figure out a rookie pitcher making his third big-league start, Derek Holland gave up a two-out, two-run homer and the Minnesota Twins pulled away for a 7-2 victory on Saturday afternoon at Target Field.
The Rangers lost for just the third time in their last 11 games, and were almost the first team shutout by the Twins this season until Mitch Moreland's two-out, two-run double in the ninth.
Holland allowed an unearned run over the first five innings before running into trouble in the sixth. With one on and two out, he left a slider in the zone that Josh Willingham sent into the left-field seats to extend the Twins’ lead to 3-0.
Minnesota tacked on a single run in the seventh and blew it open with three more in the eighth off Michael Kirkman.
With two outs in the eighth, Wilkin Ramirez hit a sharp grounder that Ian Kinsler couldn’t handle that scored a run. Oswaldo Arcia then singled and Aaron Hicks came through with a two-run double for the Twins, who lost the first two games of this four-game series.
The Rangers had their chances earlier in the game, the best coming in the third inning against Twins lefty Pedro Hernandez.
Leury Garcia had a one-out single followed by a ground-rule double by Kinsler. If Kinsler’s double wouldn’t have hopped the fence, Garcia could have scored easily.
Still, the Rangers had runners at second and third with one out, but Gentry lined out to short and Adrian Beltre flew out.
The Rangers were 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position until Moreland doubled home two runs in the ninth with a double to center off Twins reliever Glen Perkins.
-- Drew Davison