ARLINGTON, Texas – Francisco Liriano allowed two runs and five hits over seven innings, Delmon Young hit a three-run homer, and the Minnesota Twins beat the Texas Rangers and struggling Cliff Lee 6-4 on Thursday night to avoid a four-game sweep.
Liriano (12-7) struck out six and walked one to capture his sixth straight decision and snap Texas' four-game winning streak.
Lee fell to 2-5 in his 10 starts for Texas since he was acquired from Seattle in a trade on July 9.
Texas has won only three of those 10 starts.
Lee (10-8) was gone after five innings and 97 pitches, allowing five runs and seven hits with five strikeouts and one walk.
His ERA is 8.39 over his last four starts, having given up 23 runs and 34 hits in 24 2-3 innings to hike his overall ERA from 2.44 to 3.26.
Lee had his shortest outing since going four innings for Philadelphia at Atlanta on Sept. 20, 2009. There was a rain delay of almost two hours in that game, and the Phillies didn't return Lee to the mound when play resumed.
Minnesota's Jim Thome, who turns 40 on Friday, hit his 582nd homer, moving one away from tying Mark McGwire for ninth on the career list.
Texas had won the first three games of the set after Minnesota swept a three-game series from the Rangers May 28-30.
The teams wrap up their head-to-head with a three-game series Sept. 3-5 in Minnesota.
AL West-leading Texas maintained its 8½ game edge over second-place Oakland, which lost to Cleveland earlier Thursday night.
Oakland visits Texas for a three-game series starting Friday night.
Matt Capps got three outs for his sixth save in eight chances since he was acquired from the Washington Nationals on July 29.
The AL Central-leading Twins, who ended a three-game skid, maintained their lead over the second-place Chicago White Sox to 3½ games. Chicago beat Baltimore on Thursday night.
Vladimir Guerrero's two-run homer in the eighth off Matt Guerrier got Texas within two runs and gave Guerrero three homers in his last five games.
Texas' Josh Hamilton went 0 for 2 with two strikeouts and two walks as his major league-best average slipped two percentage points to .354.
Minnesota got to Lee in the second when Jason Kubel and Michael Cuddyer singled and Young ripped an 0-1 pitch into the Twins bullpen in left-center for a 3-0 lead.
Cuddyer's two-run double in the third pushed Minnesota's edge to 5-0 before Thome's solo shot in the sixth.
Texas scored twice in the seventh on David Murphy's RBI single and Andres Blanco's sacrifice fly.
NOTES: Liriano matched his career high for victories. ... Lee's given up five homers in his last two starts. ... Thome, whose 18th homer matched Justin Morneau and Kubel for the team lead, was the DH after being left out of the starting lineup Wednesday night due to a sore right thigh. ... Texas 2B Ian Kinsler had his second straight day of strenuous workouts, the next step in his rehab from a strained left groin. Kinsler, who's been out since July 29, is targeting Sept. 1 to rejoin the lineup. He's expected to begin a minor league assignment over the weekend. ... A 19-year-old female employee of the Rangers was struck by a car while crossing the street near Rangers Ballpark four hours before the game started. The unidentified part-time worker was taken to a Fort Worth hospital and was in good condition on Thursday night.