American League Preview from The Sports Network
Monday, May 26th (All times Eastern)
Texas Rangers (25-25) at Minnesota Twins (23-24), 2:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Texas - Nick Tepesch (1-0, 3.09) Minnesota - Kevin Correia (2-5, 6.52)
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Texas Rangers eye a third straight win on Monday when they begin a four-game series with the Minnesota Twins at Target Field.
Texas took three of four from the American League Central-leading Detroit Tigers over the weekend, including a pair of impressive routs to close the set. After winning 12-2 on Saturday, the Rangers' offense continued to thrive without Prince Fielder on Sunday, as Mitch Moreland went 3-for-5 with three RBI to help guide the Rangers to a 12-4 victory.
Adrian Beltre also collected three hits and drove in two, Alex Rios added a pair of hits and three RBI, Michael Choice chipped in a solo home run, while Shin-Soo Choo and Elvis Andrus each scored three times for the Rangers, who have won five of their last seven contests.
"To come into here and play a good team and play really well and put a lot of runs on the board, throw the ball like we did, I thought it was a big step forward for us," Moreland said.
Colby Lewis (4-3) spun 5 2/3 effective innings, yielding just two runs on five hits and five walks.
Now Texas will try to go over .500 for the first time since May 12 on Monday behind righty Nick Tepesch, who picked up his first win of the season his last time out. Tepesch beat the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday, as he held them to three runs and five hits in 6 1/3 innings.
"He looks like the Nick Tepesch of the beginning of last year," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "I just want him to keep building on it."
Tepesch beat the Twins the only other time he faced them.
Minnesota, meanwhile, scored just four runs and were swept by the San Francisco Giants over the weekend. The offense should get a boost on Monday, though, with the return of outfielder Josh Willingham, who was activated from the disabled list following Sunday's 8-1 setback.
Willingham hasn't played since April 6 when he was hit by a pitch and suffered a wrist injury. Oswaldo Arcia was also recalled from Triple-A Rochester.
"We're excited to have them healthy now and they're both swinging very well," Gardenhire said. "Willingham is seeing the ball and his timing is looking really good. It's nice to have those two. We'd like to see what it's like having some more pop back in the lineup. These two guys can both hit the ball a long ways."
That should help righty Kevin Correia, who is 2-5 with a 6.52 ERA. Correia picked up his second win of the season on Tuesday in San Diego, as he allowed three runs and four hits in six innings.
"My delivery felt the best it's been," Correia said after the win. "I had better movement. I was able to get a lot of ground balls. I was doing a pretty good job of getting ahead of guys and when I didn't, I still was able to keep the ball down and not give them a good pitch to hit."
Correia is a perfect 3-0 lifetime versus the Rangers in four games (3 starts).
Minnesota took four of its seven meetings with the Rangers last season.
05/26 10:30:06 ET