Arlington, TX – Leonys Martin's RBI single in the bottom of the ninth lifted the AL West-leading Texas Rangers over the Minnesota Twins, 2-1, in the second test of a three-game series.
The Twins sent Caleb Thielbar (2-2) to the mound to start the ninth. Alex Rios doubled down the left-field line before pinch-hitter Jeff Baker was intentionally walked. Jurickson Profar flied out for the second out, but Josh Roenicke came in from the bullpen and walked pinch-hitter Craig Gentry to load the bases. Martin then greeted Brian Duensing with a base hit up the middle, scoring Rios.
Texas starter Matt Garza allowed one run on three hits while striking out nine over seven innings. Joe Nathan (5-2) tossed a scoreless ninth to pick up the win.
Mike Pelfrey got the start for Minnesota and gave up one run on six hits while striking out seven over seven full frames.
Each team scored once in the first inning. Brian Dozier led off the game with a homer to left.
Elvis Andrus and Ian Kinsler hit consecutive one-out singles in the bottom half. Adrian Beltre's sacrifice fly made it 1-1.
Both starting pitchers settled in after that.
"It didn't start off the greatest...but everything (eventually) fell into place," Pelfrey said.
Minnesota's best chance to score late came in the seventh. Ryan Doumit and Chris Colabello walked to put men on first and second with one out. Clete Thomas flied out and Darin Mastroianni struck out swinging to keep it a 1-1 game.
"I had to make pitches," said Garza about the jam. "I just wanted to get out of it."
Jason Frasor tossed a scoreless eighth for Texas.
Texas and Minnesota have split six games this season ... Andrus left Saturday's game with tightness in his lower back after running the bases in the first inning ... Texas recorded 20 wins in the month of August, setting a club record for wins in August ... The Rangers have allowed five-runs-or-less in 28 consecutive games ... The Twins traded first baseman Justin Morneau to the Pittsburgh Pirates for outfielder Alex Presley and a player to be named later or cash on Saturday. Minnesota recalled catcher Josmil Pinto from Triple-A Rochester.