ARLINGTON (AP) — Kevin Correia pitched seven strong innings and the Minnesota Twins clinched their first series victory at Texas in four years, beating the AL West-leading Rangers 4-2 on Sunday.
Correia (9-10) allowed one run and scattered five hits. The right-hander struck out two and got 14 outs on the ground, including a pair of double plays.
Rangers starter Travis Blackley (2-2) was gone after giving up three consecutive run-scoring hits with one out in the fifth.
Josmil Pinto, the catcher making his major league debut a day after being called up from Triple-A Rochester, had an RBI double before Doug Bernier’s ground-rule double, a ball that bounced just fair down the right-field line and then went into the seats.
Alex Presley, acquired from Pittsburgh when the Twins traded Justin Morneau on Saturday, followed with an RBI single that made it 3-1.
Glen Perkins, the second Twins reliever, pitched a perfect ninth with two strikeouts for his 32nd save in 35 chances. He saved both Minnesota wins in the three-game series.
Mitch Moreland and A.J. Pierzynski homered for the Rangers, who had finished August with an AL-best 20-7 record.
The Rangers open an important three-game series Monday at AL West foe Oakland.
Moreland’s 21st homer leading off the third was the only run allowed by Correia, who threw eight scoreless innings in a home victory against the Rangers in April.
Pierzynski had a pinch-hit homer in the eighth.
Neftali Feliz pitched 1 2-3 scoreless innings with two strikeouts in his first appearance for the Rangers since sustaining a torn elbow ligament in May 2012 that required Tommy John surgery. Feliz was the closer for the Rangers during consecutive World Series appearances in 2010 and 2011 before moving into the rotation and going 3-1 in seven starts last year. He is returning as a reliever.
Feliz got a nice ovation when he ran from the bullpen to the mound and then got two outs while facing one batter. Presley was thrown out trying to steal before Darin Mastroianni took a called third strike.
Mastroianni was thrown out trying to score in the first inning after a deke by second baseman Ian Kinsler when Brian Dozier doubled.
Running toward second, Mastroianni slid into the bag when Kinsler acted as he was turning a double play. But the ball was in left-center field. Mastroianni got up and started running again, but couldn’t beat Kinsler’s relay throw from center fielder Leonys Martin to catcher Geovany Soto, who blocked the plate from the sliding runner.
It was Martin’s seventh outfield assist in 20 games, and his 12th this season. That is the most by a Rangers outfielder since Ruben Sierra had 15 assists in 1991.
NOTES: Jim Adduci, among seven players added to the Rangers’ roster on Sunday, made his major league debut after 10 minor league seasons in three organizations. He started in left field and singled in his first big league at-bat. … The Twins added only Presley on the first day rosters could expand. Their top farm team is still in playoff contention. … Presley had three hits and Pinto two. … It was 99 degrees at first pitch, and the temperature rose into triple digits during the game. … Left-hander Derek Holland (9-6, 3.00 ERA) starts the series against the A’s, who are scheduled to throw righty Dan Straily (7-7, 4.41).
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