Rangers-Twins preview

Texas needed extra innings to stave off its first three-game skid since late May on Friday night, but it got the job done.

The American League-leading Rangers (52-29) look to start a new winning streak as they face the Twins in the second contest of a three-game set Saturday afternoon in Minnesota.

Meanwhile, the Twins (25-54) are no strangers to losing streaks. They have strung together skids of three or more games 12 times this season, and earned another after Friday's 3-2 loss in the series opener.

Ian Desmond led off the 10th inning with a 418-foot homer, giving the Rangers a win in extras after Texas' Martin Perez and Minnesota's Ervin Santana each turned in stellar starts before giving up two runs apiece in the seventh.

Jurickson Profar's two-run single broke the scoreless tie in the Twins' seventh, but Trevor Plouffe socked a two-run blast in the bottom of the frame to pull even again.

Brian Dozier singled to set the table for Plouffe, extending his career-best hitting streak to 13 games.

"There's nothing wrong with a little adversity, especially at this point in the season," said Desmond, who has 15 homers this season and finished a triple shy of the cycle. "We see what we're made of. We had some good bounce-back performances today."

After a classic pitchers' duel in the opener, both teams turn to a pair of youngsters Saturday as Rangers right-hander Chi Chi Gonzalez (0-0, 9.00 ERA) opposes Twins righty Tyler Duffey (3-6, 5.59 ERA).

Duffey carries momentum into his first career start against the Rangers.

The 25-year-old enjoyed one of his best outings Sunday against the New York Yankees, giving up a solo homer and two hits but nothing more while striking out eight in an eight-inning victory.

"Throwing the ball over the plate does wonders," Duffey said after pitching 5 2/3 perfect innings and carrying a shutout into the eighth. "I was able to spot my fastball well and everything worked off of that."

It was his first win in six starts, snapping a three-decision losing streak, and marked the first time in eight starts since May 15 that Duffey allowed fewer than four runs.

Duffey had been touched for six runs in each of his past three starts, going 0-2 while pitching to a 11.37 ERA.

Gonzalez makes his second big league start of the year after being recalled from Triple-A Round Rock on Monday to face the Yankees. He allowed five runs on 10 hits and two walks in a five-inning no-decision.

The 24-year-old was 3-6 with a 5.04 ERA in 14 starts with Round Rock before assuming Colby Lewis' spot in the starting rotation.

Plouffe took Gonzalez deep for a solo homer in Texas' 6-5 win over Minnesota last August 13. Gonzalez lasted 5 2/3 innings, surrendering five runs on five hits and a career-high-tying five walks with four strikeouts.

Eduardo Escobar (1-for-2) also recorded a hit against Gonzalez.

The Rangers and Twins meet five more times this season after Saturday's showdown, with a July 7-10 four-game series in Arlington taking both teams into the All-Star break.