ARLINGTON -- James Dozier hit a three-run double off Rangers starter Martin Perez and the Twins made it stand up with a 3-2 victory on Monday night at Globe Life Park. The Twins had lost seven of nine at home before opening their six-game road trip with a win and
ARLINGTON -- James Dozier hit a three-run double off Rangers starter Martin Perez and the Twins made it stand up with a 3-2 victory on Monday night at Globe Life Park. The Twins had lost seven of nine at home before opening their six-game road trip with a win and snapping the Rangers' four-game winning streak.
Twins starter Phil Hughes earned the win by holding the Rangers to two runs in six innings. He allowed six hits, walked one and struck out two, raising his record to 3-1 with a 4.71 ERA.
"It was rocky in some spots. I couldn't really get my changeup going," Hughes said. "But I executed some big pitches when I had to. There were a couple spots with guys in scoring position with one out, I was able to make some pitches to keep it 2-0. Then Dozier came through with the big hit and the bullpen did a great job."
The Rangers took a 2-0 lead on back-to-back doubles by Mike Napoli and Rougned Odor in the second and an RBI single by Joey Gallo in the fourth. But they were also 2-for-9 with runners in scoring position through four innings, twice failed to get a runner home from third with less than two outs and then had just two singles through the final five innings.
"We just have to keep fighting," shortstop Elvis Andrus said. "We are creating the opportunities, that's what you want. In those situations, we aren't where we want to be, but there's nothing you can do except keep fighting."
Perez had a shutout through four innings before the Twins struck for three runs in the fifth. Perez made it through six but is 0-2 with a 4.36 ERA in his last three starts.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Perez's meltdown: Perez looked good for four innings, cruising on 46 pitches (27 strikes). He retired Jorge Polanco on a fly ball to start the fifth and then lost his command against the bottom of the Twins' order, walking three of the next four hitters. That included No. 9 hitter Byron Buxton, who entered the game with two walks and 27 strikeouts in 55 at-bats. That set up Dozier's three-run double.
"If we make pitches that inning, we don't get to that point," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said.
• Twins' patience at plate paying off
Sano makes run-saving catch: The Rangers took a 1-0 lead in the second on leadoff doubles by Napoli and Odor. But Twins third baseman Miguel Sano saved a run after Odor advanced to third on Andrus' grounder. Gallo hit a towering popup down the left-field line. Sano chased it in foul territory then started getting twisted around as the ball drifted back fair. Sano was able to recover and make a lunging catch before tumbling to the ground. That kept Odor from scoring.
"The wind was doing some crazy stuff tonight, and to make that adjustment and get there, obviously it's a huge spot; there was a guy on third and one out," Hughes said. "He made a good play then was aware enough to get up and prevent the guy on third from tagging up."
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Rangers reliever Jose Leclerc has opened the season with nine scoreless innings. He issued his first walk Monday but has 15 strikeouts.
Rangers manager Jeff Banister was ejected with one out in the ninth inning for arguing with home plate umpire Alfonso Marquez after Andrus was called out on strikes. It was Banister's second ejection of the season, and it came at the end of a frustrating night for his team.
Twins:Ervin Santana is off to a blazing start, going 3-0 with a 0.64 ERA in his first three outings this season. He'll make his fourth start against the Rangers, a team he has faced 31 times in his career, at 7:05 p.m. CT on Tuesday at Globe Life Park. Santana is 13-11 with a 5.57 ERA against Texas. He has struggled in Arlington, going 6-7 with a 6.93 ERA there.
Rangers: Right-hander Andrew Cashner makes his third start for the Rangers and the first of his career against the Twins when he pitches Tuesday night. Cashner is back to full strength after starting the season on the disabled list with soreness in his right bicep.
Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.
Dave Sessions is a contributor to MLB.com based in Texas.
T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.