Twins Daily: Rangers pound Twins for 27 hits in a disastrous 20-6 loss
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It was a miserable night for the Minnesota Twins on Monday. The Texas Rangers piled on 18 runs in the first five innings en route to sending the Twins to a 20-6 defeat -- one of their worst defeats in years and fourth loss in five games.
Since the All-Star break, Nick Blackburn had been the most consistent starter in the Twins' rotation.
But that wasn't the case Monday. Unable to keep his fastball down, Blackburn's control issues were exploited by the potent Rangers lineup. He was chased from the game in less than three innings after being tagged for 11 hits and nine runs, six of which were earned.
Seven Rangers batters totaled three hits or more, including Ian Kinsler, Nelson Cruz and Mike Napoli, who each had four of their own. Kinsler and Michael Young both tallied home runs for two of the Rangers' 11 extra-base hits.
Gifted with a large lead, Rangers starter Derek Holland held the Twins in check. They managed to get only one run and five hits on the 24-year-old starter, who eased through six innings after overcoming a couple of early jams. Jason Kubel homered in an three-run eighth-inning, but those were meaningless runs at that point.
Trailing 3-0, the Twins were already in a tough spot when Blackburn headed back to the mound in the second, having missed a prime scoring opportunity in the top of the inning.
Blackburn got a quick ground-out from Mitch Moreland to start the inning, but the Rangers had only just started their scoring barrage. With Endy Chavez on first after reaching on a single, Kinsler drove a double into left field. Delmon Young made glaring error on the play, overthrowing his cutoff man and letting Chavez score easily.
The Rangers continued to hammer on Blackburn. Josh Hamilton jumped on a first-pitch fastball for another double that scored Kinsler. Hamilton would later come in for the sixth run of the game off a single by Young.
The game was seemingly already out of reach when Kinsler came up again to face Blackburn in the third, but he sealed the Twins' fate with a three-run homer to make the score 9-0.
1990: The last year a Twins position player pitched in a game before Michael Cuddyer was sent on to throw in the eighth inning. He loaded the bases with one out, but got two flyouts to get out of the inning with no damage.
27: Hits for the Rangers -- the most the Twins have given up this season.
12: Number of games the Twins have allowed 10 or more runs this season. It was also their 18th blowout loss (five-plus runs).
12: Games last season that the Twins allowed 10 or more runs.
• Denard Span (concussion), whose rehab assignment with Triple-A Rochester is still ongoing, was out of the lineup Monday after playing seven innings in center field on Sunday.
• Kevin Slowey (abdominal strain) pitched six innings, surrendering three runs and 10 hits, on Monday in his ninth start for the Red Wings this season. He has posted a 4.68 ERA since being sent to Rochester in late-May.
Carl Pavano (6-7, 4.24) will square off against Rangers' left-hander C.J. Wilson (10-4, 2.94) on Tuesday (7:05 p.m., 1500 ESPN) in the second game of the four-game series.
While he hasn't pitched against the Rangers yet this season, Pavano has struggled against them in the past, owning a career 6.62 ERA -- his second highest among American League opponents. Pavano is coming off a lackluster start in which in surrendered five runs off nine hits against the Tigers.
Cemented as the ace of the Rangers' pitching staff, Wilson has allowed two runs or less in five of his last seven starts, including an eight-inning, two-hit outing versus the Angels on July 21. He threw seven strong innings in his last start against the Twins this season in a 9-3 Rangers victory.
• Wednesday: @ Texas, 7:05 p.m. LHP Brian Duensing (7-8, 4.53) vs. RHP Colby Lewis (10-7, 3.93)
• Thursday: @ Texas, 7:05 p.m. RHP Scott Baker (8-5, 2.88) vs. LHP Matt Harrison (8-7, 3.05)
• Friday: @ Oakland, 7:05 p.m. LHP Francisco Liriano (6-8, 4.82) vs. Gio Gonzalez (9-7, 2.67)