MINNEAPOLIS -- This all started with an infield single by Rangers designated hitter Adrian Beltre leading off the second inning. Twins third baseman Eduardo Escobar made a terrific diving stop along the line and a strong throw to first. But Beltre had enough to beat it out.
"Speed kills, don't you know that," Beltre said.
That hit, one of three on the afternoon for Beltre, sparked a six-run rally that wiped out the Twins' two-run lead and sent the Rangers on the way to their seventh straight victory with a 9-6 win at Target Field on Saturday afternoon. This is the longest active winning streak in the Majors and the Rangers' longest since a seven-game winning streak from Aug. 27-Sept. 3, 2016.
Rangers starter Yovani Gallardo picked up the win despite allowing a two-run home run to Eddie Rosario on his fifth pitch of the game. Gallardo also gave up a two-run home run to Logan Morrison in the sixth. He left after 5 1/3 innings and Rangers starters are 5-0 with a 3.35 ERA in their last seven games.
Beltre's infield single came off Twins starter Jake Odorizzi. More importantly, it was a hit Beltre admitted that 10 days ago he couldn't have pulled off because of the caution needed to play on his tender left hamstring. This is a sign that he continues to make progress.
"We are always trying to be careful with the legs," Beltre said. "You have to pick your spots for sure. But I thought that was a play that I had a pretty good chance of getting on base. I was just quick enough to get there."
Rougned Odor followed with a single and Jurickson Profar was hit by a pitch to load the bases. After Joey Gallo flied out to shallow center, Robinson Chirinos drew a walk to force in a run. That was followed by a two-run single from Delino DeShields, an RBI double by Shin-Soo Choo and a two-run single from Nomar Mazara.
Chirinos also had a two-run home run in the third and Beltre added a solo shot in the fourth. Choo was 1-for-4 with a walk and has now reached base in 36 consecutive games.
"I thought the offense played really well today, especially Beltre," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "Everybody up and down the lineup did their part with some walks, quality at-bats. To put six runs on the board early allowed us to settle in, play good defense and allow Gallardo to pitch and attack the hitters any way he wanted to. Solid day for everybody all around."
Starting pitching has been the catalyst for the Rangers' winning streak, but the offense has been there as well, scoring 48 runs in seven games. They have 34 walks in those seven games and are hitting .364 with runners in scoring position.
"As a group, we are starting to do a better job of both getting guys on base and getting them home," Beltre said. "This offense hasn't played like it's capable this year, but we're getting better."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Profar was hit three times by pitches. He reacted to the second one in the fourth inning by stealing second base even though the Rangers had a 9-2 lead. The Twins reacted to that by hitting Profar again in the seventh. Twins reliever Addison Reed hit Profar after missing inside with his first two pitches. Reed was not ejected, and Banister let his displeasure be known from the dugout. This is the second time this season that Profar has been hit three times in a game. The other was June 9 against the Astros when he set a club record for most times hit by a pitch.
Beltre's home run in the fourth was the 466th of his career. That moves him past Dave Winfield and Jose Cabrera for 34th all time. Next up is Chipper Jones in 33rd place with 468 home runs. The home run had an exit velocity of 102 mph and an estimated distance of 414 feet.
YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
DeShields made another terrific catch in center. This one came in the seventh when he raced into the left-center gap to grab Joe Mauer's line drive that was slicing away from him.
HE SAID IT
"It was definitely a first. My first time coming into a save opportunity with the bases loaded. It was something I was happy to get through and bring home the win. For sure there was a little more pressure. I understand the magnitude. One swing can change the entire game. You just have to be mindful of it and do what the game asks you to do." -- Keone Kela, who earned his 18th save by getting out of a bases-loaded jam in the ninth.
Right-hander Bartolo Colon goes for his 245th career win when he pitches against the Twins at 1:10 p.m. CT on Sunday at Target Field. Colon, who is from the Dominican Republic, needs one more win to tie Dennis Martinez of Nicaragua for the most by a pitcher from Latin America. Colon set the record for a pitcher from the Dominican Republic with a 6-3 victory over the Royals last Monday. Right-hander Jose Berrios (7-5, 3.38 ERA) pitches for the Twins.