ARLINGTON -- Twins pitcher Ervin Santana continues to build on one of the best starts to a season in his career, holding the Rangers to one run over seven innings in an 8-1 victory at Globe Life Park on Tuesday.The Twins, who had a season-high 14 hits, have won two
ARLINGTON -- Twins pitcher Ervin Santana continues to build on one of the best starts to a season in his career, holding the Rangers to one run over seven innings in an 8-1 victory at Globe Life Park on Tuesday.
The Twins, who had a season-high 14 hits, have won two straight over the Rangers to start this three-game series. They also have won four straight against the Rangers dating back to last season and 10 of 13 going back to 2015.
"I felt a lot of confidence -- the fastball location, the offspeed, everything was good," Santana said.
Santana is now 4-0 with a 0.77 ERA after five starts. The two previous best starts to his career were 6-0 with a 2.02 ERA after seven starts with the Angels in 2008 and 4-0 with a 1.99 ERA in six starts to begin the 2014 season with the Braves.
The only run allowed by Santana was a fifth-inning home run by Joey Gallo, his club-leading seventh of the season.
Rangers starter Andrew Cashner took the loss by giving up six walks and a pair of solo home runs in four-plus innings, and the Twins added six more runs (four earned) against reliever Anthony Bass in their seven-run fifth.
"I didn't feel like I was very aggressive," Cashner said. "Too many walks. I can't do that, but I was able to minimize the damage. I just never got in rhythm."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Sano blasts towering shot:Miguel Sano launched a blast in the fifth inning that landed in the second deck beyond left field at Globe Life Park. It's the 21st time in ballpark history (since 1994) that somebody has reached the second deck in left. According to Statcast™, the ball was launched at a 35-degree angle with an exit velocity of 110 mph. The estimated distance was 437 feet.
"When I hit the ball, I don't watch," Sano said when asked if he saw his shot land in the club level. "I know the ball's gone, but I don't see where they go. I never watch."
• Sano has big day at plate, in field
Castro denies Rangers: The Rangers had the leadoff batters reach in the first and fourth inning against Santana, and both were thrown out on the bases by catcher Jason Castro. Shin-Soo Choo led off the first with a single and was bunted to second by Carlos Gomez. But with Nomar Mazara at the plate, Choo tried to take third on a ball he mistakenly thought got past Castro and was thrown out. Gomez led off the fourth with a walk but was thrown trying to advance on a ball in the dirt. Both times the play was not close.
"Castro, two really big plays on balls in the dirt," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "You get those outs when they're in run-scoring opportunities -- those plays make a difference."
"The volume of walks, we can't continue giving up that many free bases."
-- Rangers manager Jeff Banister, on Cashner's six walks
"He's very aggressive, and he made good contact. As soon as he swung, I was like, 'Give me another ball,' because I knew that was going to be out."
-- Santana, on Gallo's homer
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The Rangers did not score a run while Cashner was in the game. That's the third straight start he has left the game without his team scoring a run. Since the beginning of 2012, his clubs are averaging 3.49 runs of support per nine innings for him. That's the second-lowest among Major League pitchers with a minimum of 400 innings pitched.
Twins: Lefty Hector Santiago will make his fifth start of the season for Minnesota at 7:05 p.m. CT Wednesday at Globe Life Park. He has been reliable so far, compiling a 2.19 ERA in 24 2/3 innings. He was 1-2 with a 6.63 ERA against the Rangers last season.
Rangers: Left-hander Cole Hamels pitches for the Rangers against the Twins. He is 1-1 with a 6.91 ERA in five career starts against the Twins. That's his second-highest ERA against any opponent.
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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.
Dave Sessions is a contributor to MLB.com based in Texas.