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(Saturday, April 14th)
Final Score: Texas 6, Minnesota 2
Minneapolis, MN (Sports Network) - Adrian Beltre went 3-for-4 with a walk and two RBI, as the visiting Texas Rangers posted a 6-2 victory over the Minnesota Twins in the middle test of a three-game series.
Yu Darvish made his first major league road start and the most impressive part about the outing was his ability to limit the damage. Texas' prized acquisition gave up nine hits, issued four walks and hit another batter yet allowed only one earned run in 5 2/3 innings.
Josh Hamilton clubbed a solo homer, doubled twice and scored three runs for the Rangers. Nelson Cruz and Brandon Snyder also had three hits and scored a run.
"Any win is huge," Snyder said. "One of the big things in this clubhouse is that nothing is taken for granted."
Denard Span collected three hits and knocked in a run for Minnesota, which finished 2-for-16 with runners in scoring position and left 15 men on base.
Nick Blackburn started for the Twins and surrendered two runs on seven hits before leaving in the sixth inning with a right posterior shoulder strain.
The Rangers got a second-inning sacrifice fly from Mike Napoli, but a fielding error by Texas third baseman Michael Young in the bottom of the frame enabled Danny Valencia to score the tying run.
Hamilton homered with one out in the third inning to put the visitors back on top.
The Twins produced only one run in the middle innings despite having a lot of traffic on the base paths.
They had a runner thrown out on a play at the plate to end the fourth, and Darvish escaped a bases-loaded jam in the fifth by striking out Ryan Doumit.
Minnesota managed to pull even on Span's two-out, run-scoring double in the sixth, and then loaded the bases again. Robbie Ross (1-0), though, bailed out the Japanese right-hander by retiring Justin Morneau on a pop up in foul territory.
"Try to see as many pitches as I could," Span said when asked about facing Darvish.
The Rangers broke the tie in the seventh. Jeff Gray replaced Brian Duensing (0-1) with runners on the corners and two outs and promptly gave up consecutive RBI singles to Beltre and Young.
Beltre added an RBI double in the ninth and later scored his 1,000th run on a throwing error by Minnesota shortstop Trevor Plouffe.
Erstwhile Minnesota closer Joe Nathan recorded the final three outs for the Rangers. Nathan pitched for the Twins from 2004-11 and is the club's all-time saves leader (260)...Ross picked up his first major league win in his second career game...Twins left fielder Josh Willingham went 2-for-3 and walked twice. He has hit safely in all eight games this season...Minnesota claimed outfielder Clete Thomas off waivers from the Detroit Tigers.
04/14 18:31:29 ET