Newcomers back Correia's impressive outing
Pinto provides game-tying RBI double while Presley has three-hit debut
ARLINGTON -- Alex Presley and Josmil Pinto didn't waste any time making an impact in their Twins debuts on Sunday.
Kevin Correia tossed seven strong innings, and was backed by Presley and Pinto to lead the Twins to a 4-2 victory over the Rangers on Sunday afternoon at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.
Presley, acquired in the trade that sent Justin Morneau to Pittsburgh on Saturday, and Pinto, making his Major League debut behind the plate, combined to go 5-for-8 at the plate with two RBIs and two runs scored to pace the offense.
"Presley was as advertised," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He led us to a win. Same way with Pinto. He did a super job behind the plate and had a couple big hits, too. So there were some nice performances out there."
It also marked a third straight impressive outing for Correia, who gave up just one run on five hits and a walk over seven innings to pick up the win. Correia now has a 1.31 ERA over his last three starts, having given up just three earned runs over 20 2/3 innings.
He left the game after only 79 pitches through seven innings with a mild cramp in his oblique because of the heat, but he said it won't affect him moving forward.
"I got in a situation in a few starts where I was just nibbling and my pitch count was up, so I tried to go back to what I was doing throwing more strikes and getting quicker outs," Correia said. "And I've been able to do that."
The lone run he gave up came in the third inning on a solo home run to Mitch Moreland on a 3-2 slider. It was the 21st homer of the year for Moreland and the 22nd homer given up by Correia.
But the Twins came back with three runs in the fifth inning against Rangers left-hander Travis Blackley to take the lead for good. Blackley ended up going just 4 1/3 innings, giving up three runs on eight hits.
"They made me work today, and it was pretty tough conditions," Blackley said. "It just kind of fell their way."
Pinto, who was recalled from Triple-A Rochester on Saturday, drove home the first run of the inning on a double to left field on a 3-2 curveball with one out.
"It was a difficult at-bat," said Pinto, who received the ball as a keepsake. "With 3-0, he threw me a breaking ball, which I didn't expect. After he threw that, I thought he'd throw me anything. So I told myself to battle and try to make contact and get the run in, and I hit a double."
Pinto came around to score on a bloop ground-rule double from Doug Bernier down the right-field line to give the Twins the lead. Presley then drove home Bernier with a single to left field for the third run of the frame.
"I couldn't have envisioned a better start for myself," Presley said. "To get a win today was awesome. To be able to contribute as part of the lineup was a great opportunity today."
It was a solid first game for Presley, who picked up three hits and helped the Twins add an insurance run in the eighth against reliever Joakim Soria. Presley led off the inning with a single and reached second on a sacrifice bunt from Darin Mastroianni before scoring from second on an ill-advised throw from second baseman Ian Kinsler on Josh Willingham's two-out infield single.
"I knew he was a good player over there, but he just needed an opportunity," said Correia about Presley, who was his teammate in Pittsburgh from 2011-12. "So I was excited to see we got him. He did a nice job getting on base today and scoring some runs."
Jared Burton, who gave up a solo homer to A.J. Pierzynski in the eighth inning, and closer Glen Perkins pitched the final two innings to preserve the win, which gave the Twins the series victory.
"We pitched very well here and caught the ball well here," Gardenhire said. "We ended up with a lot of strikeouts, but they're a very good team. But you just look at the wins, winning two out of three is a big thing. But we have to go on to Houston and do the same or else it doesn't mean anything."