TEXAS 11, MINNESOTA 10 IN TEXAS
Date: Sunday, August 31.
Batting stars: Denny Hocking was 4-for-4 with a home run (his third), a double, a walk, two runs, and three RBIs. Torii Hunter was 3-for-5 with a double and two RBIs. A. J. Pierzynski was 2-for-3 with a walk. Luis Rivas was 2-for-4 with a double, a walk, a stolen base (his fourteenth), and three runs. Matthew LeCroy was 2-for-5 with a walk and two RBIs.
Pitching stars: Carlos Pulido pitched 2.2 scoreless innings, giving up two hits and striking out two. Grant Balfour pitched a perfect inning and struck out one. Joe Mays pitched 1.1 scoreless innings, giving up a hit and a walk.
Opposition stars: Hank Blalock was 4-for-5 with a home run (his twenty-fourth), a double, and three runs. Alex Rodriguez was 3-for-3 with a two-run homer (his fortieth), two walks, three runs. Mark Teixeira was 3-for-5 with a three-run homer, his twentieth. Rafael Palmeiro was 2-for-4 with a home run (his thirty-second), a walk, and two runs. Laynce Nix was 2-for-4 with a walk. Einar Diaz was 2-for-5. Jason Jones was 1-for-3 with a home run (his third) and two runs.
The game: LeCroy had an RBI single in the first to put the Twins up 1-0. In the bottom of the first Blalock doubled and Rodriguez and Palmeiro hit back-to-back homers to make it 3-1 Rangers. Jones homered in the second to make it 4-1. In the third, two singles and a walk loaded the bases with one out. Nix singled home one and Jones hit a sacrifice fly, increasing the Texas lead to 6-1.
Hocking hit a two-run homer in the fourth to cut the margin to 6-3. In the fifth, the Twins had men on first and second with two out. Hunter doubled home one, an intentional walk loaded the bases, and accidental walks to Dustan Mohr and Hocking tied the score. In the sixth Rivas led off with a double and scored on LeCroy's single to put the Twins in front 7-6.
The Rangers came back in the seventh. Blalock led off with a home run to tie it. Rodriguez walked Palmeiro singled, and Teixeira hit a three-run homer to give Texas a 10-7 lead. But the Twins refused to go away. In the eighth, LeCroy walked and Corey Koskie singled, putting men on first and third with one out. Hunter singled home a run and Pierzynski hit a sacrifice fly to make it 10-9. Hocking led off the ninth with a single, Stewart walked, a bunt moved the runners up, and Jacque Jones hit a sacrifice fly to tie it 10-10.
The momentum was all with the Twins, and it did them as much good as momentum usually does. Nix led off the ninth with a single, was bunted to second, went to third on a wild pitch, and scored on Diaz' single to win the game for the Rangers.
WP: Francisco Cordero (4-6). LP: Eddie Guardado (1-5). S: None.
Notes: Hocking remained at short in place of Cristian Guzman. Stewart was in left with Mohr in right. Michael Ryan pinch-hit for Mohr in the eighth and went to right field. Jones pinch-hit for Doug Mientkiewicz in the ninth. Hocking moved to first base, with Chris Gomez coming in to play short.
Ryan was 0-for-1 and was batting .333. Stewart was 0-for-5 and was batting .310. Jones was batting .308. Pierzynski raised his average to .301. Mientkiewicz was 1-for-5 and was batting .300.
Brad Radke started and lasted just 2.1 innings, allowing six runs on nine hits and a walk. He struck out none and his ERA went back up over five at 5.02. His game score of 14 was his second-lowest of the season, ahead of an 8 in his second start of the season.
Pulido's ERA remained zero. Balfour had an ERA of 1.65. J. C. Romero allowed four runs in two-thirds of an inning to raise his ERA to 5.20. Mays lowered his ERA to 6.30.
Texas used three pitchers with connections to the Twins. Starter R. A. Dickey pitched 4.2 innings, allowing six runs (five earned) on eight hits and four walks and striking out four. Ron Mahay pitched 1.1 scoreless innings. Aaron Fultz allowed two runs in a third of an inning.
There were six home runs in the game. Five of them were hit by the Rangers.
Chicago won and Kansas City lost, so the Twins remained tied for second, but fell farther out of first.
Record: The Twins were 71-65, tied for second in the American League Central with Kansas City, 1.5 games behind Chicago.