The Texas Rangers are firing on all cylinders right now. They'll try to go after their seventh win in eight tries on Friday when they continue a four-game set against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field.
Texas beat Minnesota for the 10th time in 12 games on Thursday, as rookie Nick Tepesch surrendered just one run over 6 2/3 strong innings to help the Rangers take a 2-1 win. Nelson Cruz and Elvis Andrus each drove in a run for the Rangers, who are tied with the Boston Red Sox for the best record in the American League at 15-7.
"Their two, three, four hitters are about the best you'll see in Major League Baseball," Rangers manager Ron Washington said of his rookie hurler. "Going through them three times, he did a good job."
Josh Willingham's home run accounted for the only offense for the Twins, who have dropped their past two. Vance Worley (0-3) gave up two runs on six hits over five innings to take the loss.
Getting the call for the Rangers on Friday will be righty Justin Grimm, who picked up his first win his last time out. Grimm defeated the Seattle Mariners on Sunday, holding them to an earned run and six hits over six innings. He also struck out nine to improve to 1-0, while lowering his ERA to 2.70.
"I was just going out there and being aggressive, I wasn't worried about the runners in scoring position," said Grimm. "I was just trying to pitch a close game and attack hitters. My whole mindset was to keep it close and just keep executing pitches."
Grimm has never faced the Twins, who will counter with left-hander Scott Diamond.
After losing his season debut, Diamond bounced back against the Chicago White Sox on Sunday, limiting them to an earned run in six innings to cut his ERA nearly in half to 4.35.
"I was just back down in the zone. That was the biggest focus after last game," Diamond said. "I was able to just locate down with most of my stuff."
The Rangers, who have won four straight games in Minnesota, have yet to lose a series this season.