Rapid Reaction: Rangers 20, Twins 6

ARLINGTON, Texas -- In an effort to beat the heat, the Rangers took batting practice indoors Monday.

They might never come out in the light of day again.

Not after a hitting display that netted season highs for runs (20) and hits (27) in a 20-6 thrashing of the Minnesota Twins before 35,573 hoarse fans at Rangers Ballpark.

The outburst, coming one night after the Rangers were shut out on four hits, had team officials hastily leafing through the record books.

The hit total is the most by the Rangers in a home game and second most in club history.

The onslaught started early and with consistent frequency, three straight innings of three runs to start the game followed by innings of five and four runs.

Texas became only the third team since 1900 to score at least three runs in each of the first five innings. The feat was accomplished in 1900 in a Phillies-Pirates game and again in 1991 with Texas on the receiving end at Oakland.

* How bad did it get for the Twins? First baseman Michael Cuddyer became the first Twins position player to pitch in 21 years. Cuddyer moved from first base to the mound to work a scoreless eighth inning, stranding three, and gave the Twins' bench something to get excited about.

* Overshadowed was the work of Rangers starter Derek Holland, who bounced back from a disappointing finish in his previous outing to limit the Twins to five hits and one unearned run in six innings on the way to his ninth win.

Holland proved he could keep focus and pitch with a lead. He didn’t walk a batter and struck out four. His strike-to-ball ratio was a shade better than 2 to 1.

* Ian Kinsler, the designated hitter on this night, had four hits, including his 16th home run, and ended a triple away from the cycle. Nelson Cruz and Mike Napoli also had four hits each. Kinsler and Elvis Andrus came to the plate seven times each.

* The breaks went the Rangers' way. In the first inning, Josh Hamilton’s opposite-field RBI double was inches fair, Michael Young’s opposite-field home run cleared the wall by inches and the Rangers had a quick 3-0 lead on Nick Blackburn.

* Chris Davis is playing under a microscope these days. The corner infielder recently called up yet again from Triple-A Round Rock was charged with an error for failing to get a glove on a one-hopper off the bat of Jason Kubel in the second inning, but he atoned by starting a double play on a smash off the bat of Delmon Young to get Holland out of the inning unscathed. With the game out of reach in the seventh, Davis committed a second error, bobbling a routine grounder.

* There seemed to be confusion about which player would be covering second base on Joe Mauer’s comebacker to Holland in the fourth inning. Shortstop Andrus and second baseman Young both went to the bag. Holland’s throw sailed past Andrus, who received an error. Young seemed to reach the bag first but Andrus cut in front of him. The error led to an unearned run.

* Hamilton and Cruz made nice running catches on back-to-back plays in the third. Hamilton raced back to catch a deep drive by Trevor Plouffe, and momentum carried him against the scoreboard. That had to have Rangers fans holding their breath since Hamilton injured himself last season running into the wall in Minnesota.

Cruz followed by going to his right to haul in a drive off the bat of Tsuyoshi Nishioka.