Kinsler’s Single Puts Rangers Past Twins 4-3
ARLINGTON (AP) – Ian Kinsler hit a winning RBI single with one out in the 13th inning and the AL West-leading Texas Rangers beat the Minnesota Twins 4-3 Sunday night after tying the game with three unearned runs in the ninth.
Texas had the bases loaded when Kinsler, one of eight Texas players headed to the All-Star game, hit a liner into the left-center field gap that bounced against the wall while his teammates stormed out the dugout to celebrate the team’s second consecutive 4-3 extra-inning victory.
Scott Feldman (3-6), the eighth Rangers pitcher, worked the last two innings.
Along with extra innings in the last game before the All-Star break, there was a 46-minute delay in the fourth inning that started with a lightning bolt and a loud clap of thunder.
The Rangers (52-34) had a season-worst losing streak of five games before winning in 10 innings Saturday night.
They have won seven consecutive series at home, and eight of nine overall, and have a four-game lead over the Los Angeles Angels in the AL West.
Michael Young, who tied the game with a two-run single with two outs in the ninth, led off the 13th against Alex Burnett (2-2) with a double into the right-field corner. He was forced out at home on Craig Gentry’s grounder to shortstop Brian Dozier, whose error in the ninth set up Texas for a tying rally.
But the bases were still loaded for Kinsler.
After Young’s double, David Murphy had been intentionally walked before Mike Napoli reached on an infield single before Gentry’s grounder.
Young had his first four-hit game of the season, but missed a game-ending hit by only inches in the 11th when his liner down the right-field line was just foul before he then flew out to center. The Rangers left the bases loaded that inning when Gentry hit a liner to first base.
The Rangers also left two runners on in the 12th when Nelson Cruz, who had the game-ending hit Saturday night, had an inning-ending grounder.
Texas got its three runs in the ninth off Glen Perkins right after Minnesota had padded a 1-0 lead with two unearned runs in the top of the inning off All-Star closer Joe Nathan.
Nathan’s throwing error against his former team led to a run before Denard Span hit a sacrifice fly.
After the bright flash and thunder when Rangers starter Roy Oswalt was preparing to throw a pitch in the fourth, catcher Napoli and Minnesota batter Ryan Doumit quickly scrambled to their respective dugouts. Baserunner Josh Willingham dropped to his knees near first base and the game was immediately stopped, about 10 minutes before the rain began.
Rangers officials said the lightning struck north of stadium and didn’t hit the facility. There were no reports of damage or any injuries.
“My heart stopped when I heard the thunder at the stadium. Glad no one heard me scream like a little girl too!! Lol,” Twins right fielder Ben Revere tweeted during the ensuing delay.
Twins rookie Cole De Vries pitched seven scoreless innings against the Texas lineup with five All-Stars. The right-hander struck out five while allowing three singles, two of them to All-Star second baseman Kinsler.
The other All-Stars on the majors’ top-hitting team — Elvis Andrus, Josh Hamilton, Beltre and Napoli were a combined 0 for 9 with three strikeouts, a walk and a sacrifice bunt against De Vries.
Casey Fien threw a scoreless eighth in his first appearance for the Twins before Perkins’ third blown save in seven chances.
Oswalt, who had given up 13 hits in each of his last two starts, allowed one run and five hits over 5 2-3 innings. He was gone after Justin Morneau’s RBI single for a 1-0 lead.
Kinsler led off the ninth with a grounder to Dozier that turned into a two-base throwing error. After Perkins threw a wild pitch, Andrus had an RBI grounder.
Hamilton popped out to third before Texas, with only four hits to that point, had four consecutive two-out hits. That included Young’s tying hit.
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