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Beltre's hot bat backs Minor's best start of year

MLB.com @Sullivan_Ranger

ARLINGTON -- Manager Jeff Banister said the Rangers had a lot of things going right to rally for a 5-2 victory over the Rockies on Saturday afternoon at Globe Life Park.

Rookie catcher Jose Trevino's first Major League hit -- a game-tying single in the seventh -- was huge for the Rangers, and so was a two-run triple by Adrian Beltre in the eighth. But Banister's list began with starting pitching and Mike Minor.

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ARLINGTON -- Manager Jeff Banister said the Rangers had a lot of things going right to rally for a 5-2 victory over the Rockies on Saturday afternoon at Globe Life Park.

Rookie catcher Jose Trevino's first Major League hit -- a game-tying single in the seventh -- was huge for the Rangers, and so was a two-run triple by Adrian Beltre in the eighth. But Banister's list began with starting pitching and Mike Minor.

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"We needed a really good start from our starter," Banister said. "We got that from Mike. Exceptional, probably one of the best starts he has had all year."

Minor didn't get the win. He left trailing in the middle of the seventh before the Rangers rallied and snapped their seven-game losing streak.

"He was terrific," Beltre said. "He was facing a really good lineup, a really good offense, and he was able to keep those guys off balance. We weren't able to get some runs early enough so he could get the win, but he kept us in the game and gave us a chance to come back."

Video: COL@TEX: Banister on Minor's outing, 5-2 victory

Minor held the Rockies to two runs over seven innings. It's only the second time he has gone seven innings in 13 starts. The other was when he allowed five runs in seven innings against the Tigers on May 8. It's the fourth time he has allowed two or fewer runs, with the other three coming in April.

Minor allowed five hits, two walks and struck out six. The Rockies' first run off of him in the second was set up by a balk and the other, in the sixth, was assisted by a wild pitch.

"I felt really good," Minor said. "Me and Trevino mixed it up pretty well and attacked the hitters. We really pounded the zone, a lot of sliders in. Try to make them uncomfortable, work both sides of the plate."

Video: COL@TEX: Kela fans Iannetta, locks down 15th save

The performance was a reminder that for all that has gone wrong with the Rangers this season, if they could get their starting pitching straightened out, it might help them get turned around. That may be a monumental task at this point, but the Rangers are 8-4 on the year when their starters go seven innings and they are 14-10 when the starters deliver at least a quality start.

"It always starts with starting pitching," Banister said. "We talk about it all the time. If the starters can manage the game, give us an opportunity to push some runs on the board, we are going to score some runs. These guys know how to hit, they know how to get on base. When you get good starting pitching, your offense is going to put runs on the board."

Minor's best work was in the seventh. Ian Desmond led off the inning with a single and went to third on Tom Murphy's double. Minor, trailing 2-0, didn't make it worse. Carlos Gonzalez popped out to shallow center and, after Chris Iannetta drew a walk, Noel Cuevas popped out to second baseman Rougned Odor. Minor then retired DJ LeMahieu on a grounder to third to end the inning and keep the Rangers within two runs.

"The seventh was really important just to keep it close," Minor said. "It could have gotten out of control if they get a base hit there and score a couple of runs. We kept it close and were able to come back. To go seven, have a quality start and keep us in the game, then come back and win was big. Everybody needs to get on a roll. If the starters could get six or seven innings with quality starts, yeah we would have a chance to win a lot of games."

MOMENT THAT MATTERED
Trevino's first Major League hit was a big one. The Rangers trailed 2-0 into the seventh when they finally broke through against Rockies starter Kyle Freeland. Odor led off with a triple and scored on a double by Isiah Kiner-Falefa. Freeland came back to get Joey Gallo on a flyout and Ronald Guzman on a grounder to short. Kiner-Falefa moved to third on the play and Trevino brought him home with a two-out single off of third baseman Nolan Arenado's glove.

"I couldn't tell you if I was more excited to get the game-tying RBI or the first hit," Trevino said. "But it was two outs so I had to get it with the hit."

Video: COL@TEX: Trevino gets 1st MLB hit, ties game in 7th

SOUND SMART
Shin-Soo Choo went 2-for-3 with a walk and has now reached base in 30 straight games. He is hitting .327 (36-for-110) with 31 walks in that stretch.

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Beltre's triple came after Delino DeShields drew a walk and moved to third on Jurickson Profar's hit-and-run single to left. Beltre followed with a fly ball to deep right that Gonzalez seemed to misjudge and then misplay the carom off the wall. Two runs ended up scoring to give the Rangers a 4-2 lead. Odor's sacrifice fly brought home pinch-runner Ryan Rua. Beltre's triple was the 38th of his career but the first to put his team ahead in the seventh inning or later.

"I'm feeling OK. I'm picking my spots," Beltre said. "I'll tell you what, though, that's probably the first time I've seen somebody hit a triple get pinch-run for. That's for sure. It might be a first. That's OK. It was good to get it."

Video: COL@TEX: Beltre drills a go-ahead 2-run triple in 8th

HE SAID IT
"It's pretty big time. I had a lot of people compliment me on it. I had one of my best games so it might stay for awhile." -- Minor, on the moustache that he sported for the first time this season

MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
Odor made a nice play on Gonzalez's grounder up the middle in the fifth, but his throw appeared to pull first baseman Guzman off the bag. Gonzalez was called safe, but the Rangers challenged and the call was overturned.

Video: TEX@COL: Odor nabs Gonzalez after overturned call

UP NEXT
The Rangers are calling up veteran right-hander Yovani Gallardo to start on Sunday against the Rockies. First pitch will be at 2:05 p.m. CT as the Rangers celebrate Father's Day. Rangers players and on-field personnel will wear the symbolic blue ribbon on their uniforms along with blue wristbands. Also, for the third consecutive year, players will wear specially-designed caps to raise awareness and funds for the fight against prostate cancer. Gallardo is 2-1 with a 3.81 ERA in 10 starts at Triple-A Round Rock. Jon Gray will pitch for the Rockies.

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.

Texas Rangers, Mike Minor