ARLINGTON, Texas -- Rangers relief ace Joakim Soria was touched for the decisive run on Kendrys Morales' RBI double in the ninth inning as the Twins squeezed out a 3-2 victory Sunday afternoon before 36,779 at Globe Life Park.
Josh Willingham singled with one out in the ninth and was replaced by pinch runner Sam Fuld. Morales’ double landed just inside the left field foul line and took an odd bounce off the wall in foul territory, allowing Fuld to score from first.
Texas dropped to 37-44 at the halfway point of the season and wrapped up a disappointing 2-4 homestand.
A few observations:
Quality from Colby: Rangers starter Colby Lewis delivered his first quality start of the season, limiting the Twins to two runs and five hits in six innings. Lewis fell short of the quality start standard in his first 13 outings. The Mariners’ Steve Trout also went 13 games without a quality start in 1988 to share the dubious major league record.
Lewis struck out eight and for the second straight start issued no walks.
Minnesota worked over both foul lines to touch Lewis for two runs in the third inning. Eduardo Escobar grounded a double just inside first base. Jorge Polanco drove him in with a check-swing double over third. Joe Mauer's two out single, nowhere near any chalk in center field, scored Polanco.
Catching attention: Robinson Chirinos is grabbing attention as the major league leader in thwarting stolen bases. He chalked up his 19th caught stealing in the sixth inning. The Rangers’ catcher is also making some noise with his bat. He is now tied for third on the club in home runs with seven after a 389-foot drive into the left field stands in the fifth inning that made it 2-2. Chirinos bracketed the home run with singles in the second and seventh inning for a three-hit day.
Mine, mine, yours: Rangers first baseman Carlos Pena tested his range on a foul-ball pop up in the sixth inning and learned that it doesn’t quite go behind home plate. Pena came charging down the line on Chris Parmelee's foul ball behind the plate. Chirinos seemed to be settling under when he gave way to Pena. A final stretch from Pena came up empty. No error was charged.
Wasted chances: The Rangers failed to score in the second inning with runners at first and third with no outs. Already trailing 1-0, Twins pitcher Kyle Gibson faced the bottom two in the Rangers order. Michael Choice stuck out and Rougned Odor grounded into a double play.
In the seventh, the Rangers had runners at the corners again, this time with one out, when Choice grounded into a double play started by shortstop Polanco.
Challenging move: With a base open and Shin-Soo Choo at second base, the Twins chose to go after Adrian Beltre, the Rangers hottest hitter in the first inning. Down in the count, Beltre looped an RBI single to right field for the game’s first run. For the Rangers cleanup hitter, it was his fourth straight hit following a 3-for-3 performance on Saturday.
Glove work: Beltre made a nice play behind the bag on Brian Dozier for the final out in the fifth... Choice covered a lot of ground in left to chase down Morales ... Odor made a diving stop to his right on Mauer with a man on to end the eighth.
Up next: The Rangers embark on a seven-game road trip, beginning at 6:05 Monday with four in Baltimore. Texas will send left-hander Joe Saunders (0-4, 5.19 ERA) to the mound. Opposing him witll be Ubaldo Jimenez (2-8, 4.70 ERA) on ESPN 103.3 FM and Fox Sports Southwest.