Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

Twins bats silenced by Rangers in series opener

MLB.com

MINNEAPOLIS -- A bit of bad luck and one belt-high fastball haunted Fernando Romero on Friday as he and the Twins fell to the Rangers, 8-1, at Target Field.

Fresh off back-to-back series wins against the Indians and Red Sox, the Twins offense fell flat against a Texas team that sits at the bottom of the American League West standings. The Twins have been hindered by baserunning blunders for much of the season, and a pair of miscues on the basepaths snuffed out several key scoring opportunities.

View Full Game Coverage

MINNEAPOLIS -- A bit of bad luck and one belt-high fastball haunted Fernando Romero on Friday as he and the Twins fell to the Rangers, 8-1, at Target Field.

Fresh off back-to-back series wins against the Indians and Red Sox, the Twins offense fell flat against a Texas team that sits at the bottom of the American League West standings. The Twins have been hindered by baserunning blunders for much of the season, and a pair of miscues on the basepaths snuffed out several key scoring opportunities.

View Full Game Coverage

Romero, who got off to a sensational start with the Twins when he was called up from Triple-A Rochester in May, has come back to earth of late and delivered another shaky outing Friday. Romero posted a 1.88 ERA in his first five starts, but owns a 7.54 ERA in his most recent five.

The Rangers stung Romero for three straight hits to begin the fourth and took a 1-0 lead. Elvis Andrus, Nomar Mazara and Adrian Beltre all reached on singles that had a hit probability of 34 percent or less, according to Statcast™.

"Yeah, that was unfortunate," second baseman Brian Dozier said. "But [Romero] threw the ball really well and got out of some situations. Like I said, they put up some runs at the end, and obviously they were the deciding factor. But, oh well. Move on."

Texas plated another run on a comebacker to Romero from Rougned Odor to double its lead. In the fifth, Romero surrendered a leadoff walk to Ronald Guzman. Two batters later, Shin-Soo Choo smashed a two-run homer on a fastball over the middle of the plate to boost the Rangers' lead.

Video: TEX@MIN: Choo clubs a 2-run homer to right field

"I don't think it was an error," Romero said. "I just made a pitch and he just got it."

Despite his struggles, Romero pitched efficiently during stretches of the game and was able to give the Twins six innings. He ended with four strikeouts and two walks on 100 pitches.

Meanwhile, the Twins' offense scuffled early on and Texas starter Mike Minor faced the minimum through five innings. Dozier smashed a two-out single to left-center in the first inning and tried to turn it into a double. But he was thrown out on a stellar throw from left field by Joey Gallo to end the inning.

Video: TEX@MIN: Gallo cuts down Dozier at second base

"You could say it was probably a hair aggressive due to the fact that he got thrown out by a good margin there," Minnesota manager Paul Molitor said. "But you hook one toward the corner and you're thinking two out of the box. He got committed and was not able to retreat, so he just went ahead and was hoping for an errant throw, but the guy threw it on the bag."

Minnesota showed signs of life in the sixth when Max Kepler cracked a leadoff double and Ryan LaMarre followed with a walk. Then, with Bobby Wilson at the plate, a pitch skipped away form Texas catcher Robinson Chirinos, and Kepler advanced to third. But LaMarre was caught in no-man's land between first and second and was thrown out for the first out of the inning.

Video: TEX@MIN: Chirinos throws out LaMarre at second base

"I get it when you're on first," Molitor said. "You see the ball and you've got to see what the runner's doing at second, and if there's any hesitation on him and you go back to the ball. But you don't have to go. That's the whole thing. I talked to Ryan about it. He said he kind of lost the ball and how far it was away. When you're down four runs, if you're not sure, you'd better hold your ground."

Joe Mauer drilled an RBI double later in the inning, but Minor bounced back to retire Eddie Rosario and Dozier in succession to strand a pair of runners in scoring position.

Video: TEX@MIN: Mauer hits an RBI double to deep left field

The Rangers tacked on some additional run support in the ninth inning when they scored four runs off of Twins' reliever Matt Belisle. Over the past two days, Belisle has surrendered seven earned runs in two innings of work.

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
With runners at second and third in the top of the seventh, Andrus drilled a line drive up the middle that appeared to be headed for extra bases. But Dozier made a full-extension diving catch and quickly followed with a glove-flip to second to double off Guzman and end the inning. The Rangers challenged the call at second, but after a brief review the call was upheld and Guzman was ruled out.

Video: TEX@MIN: Dozier lays out for superb DP after review

"Plays are plays, but I like making them in situations like it was," Dozier said. "That was pretty cool. Nice job by [Ehire Adrianza] getting to the bag and reading it pretty good. It was good. Got us out of a jam."

MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
In the top of the seventh, Delino DeShields dragged a sacrifice bunt down the third-base line and hustled down the line to beat a throw from Taylor Motter. The Twins challenged the call on the field and after a brief review, the call was overturned and DeShields was ruled out for the first out of the inning.

Video: TEX@MIN: Motter nasb DeShields on overturned call

UP NEXT
The Twins will face off with the Rangers for the second of a three-game set at 1:10 p.m. CT on Saturday. Jake Odorizzi will take the mound for Minnesota with hopes of bouncing back from a shaky June 17 outing in which he surrendered four runs to the Indians. Yovani Gallardo will get the nod for Texas and make his second start of the season.

Jarrid Denney is an reporter for MLB.com based in Minneapolis.

Minnesota Twins