Escobar's walk-off double caps Twins' comeback
MINNEAPOLIS -- Eduardo Escobar lined an RBI double with two out in the ninth inning as the Twins rallied late for a 3-2 walk-off victory over the Rangers on Tuesday night at Target Field.
Rangers reliever Spencer Patton retired the first two hitters of the inning, but then walked Kurt Suzuki. He also went to a full-count on Escobar. That gave Suzuki a running start and he was able to score easily when Escobar lined one down the right-field line.
"We really could use the win, I think primarily," manager Paul Molitor said. "We've talked about various games and how they might influence the future. I think we've kind of found out that it doesn't always have a huge effect. Every once in awhile things carry over. I'm kind of concentrating on the fact that it was a nice way for us to salvage the first game of the homestand."
Elvis Andrus' two-run homer gave the Rangers an early lead in the second inning against starter Kyle Gibson. That's where it stood until the eighth when the Twins rallied to tie the score off of reliever Jake Diekman.
Escobar led off the inning with a walk. Diekman retired the next two hitters, but Joe Mauer lined a double to left-center for one run and Miguel Sano hit one off the overhang in right for a game-tying RBI double.
"Yeah it was a tough one," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "We had the guys out there we wanted, we just didn't get it done."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Mauer, Sano provide spark: The Twins had just three hits entering the eighth inning, including singles from Mauer and Sano. The pair added two more hits in the eighth with Mauer doubling in Escobar and Sano following with a double of his own to tie the game. Sano crushed a 98-mph fastball to right and was just a few feet shy of a go-ahead home run.
DeShields' tremendous catch: Rangers center fielder Delino DeShields made a tremendous catch in the eighth inning before the two game-tying doubles. With one out and Escobar at second, Brian Dozier crushed a pitch from Diekman to deep left-center. DeShields raced back to the warning and made a running, leaping catch. More >
"That was amazing," Diekman said.
Gibson rebounds: The last time through the rotation, Twins starters lasted a combined 15 2/3 innings, giving up 36 runs. No starter had given up fewer than six runs in the past week, but Gibson bucked that trend on Tuesday with a quality start. Though he didn't throw a 1-2-3 inning all night, he limited the damage to just one home run. More >
"It was nice to actually do my job today and give the team a chance to win," Gibson said. "It's been too many starts this second half where I haven't given the team a chance."
Beltre robs Torii: Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre made a terrific play on Torii Hunter's grounder in the second. He backhanded the ball behind the bag and made a strong accurate throw as his momentum carried him into foul territory. First baseman Mitch Moreland completed the play by scooping the throw off a short hop.
"We had a lot of nice defensive plays tonight," Banister said.
Rangers: Right-hander Nick Martinez will get the ball on Wednesday at 7:10 p.m. CT for the rematch of this three-game set at Target Field. He is 3-4 with a 4.20 ERA in 11 road starts this season.
Twins: Right-hander Mike Pelfrey will start the middle game of this series on Wednesday at 7:10 p.m. CT. Pelfrey gave up eight runs in 3 2/3 innings against the Rangers in June. His last time out, he also lasted just 3 2/3, giving up seven runs against the Indians.
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