Twins take hard-fought win to sidestep sweep
ARLINGTON -- It wasn't pretty, as the Twins had an inning with three triples and just one run scored, but in the end, Eddie Rosario came through with a go-ahead RBI double in the ninth to score top prospect Byron Buxton in his Major League debut to help Minnesota snap a five-game winning streak on Sunday.
Rosario's go-ahead double off Rangers closer Shawn Tolleson lifted the Twins to a much-needed 4-3 win to avoid being swept for a second straight series. Buxton, ranked as the No. 1 overall prospect by MLBPipeline.com, went 0-for-4 in his highly anticipated debut, but he scored the game-winning run.
"Wins are good and they've been hard to come by as of late," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "It wasn't easy today."
The Twins made history in the sixth, when they had three triples in an inning for the first time since the franchise was moved to Minnesota in 1961. But they also made it a dubious way, as they became the first team in the last 50 years to record three triples in an inning but score one run or fewer, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Eduardo Nunez led off the frame with a triple off Rangers right-hander Nick Martinez and scored on a one-out triple from Shane Robinson, his second of the game. But Robinson was picked off at third, as Eduardo Escobar missed a sign for a squeeze play. Escobar followed with a triple of his own but was stranded with Buxton striking out for the second time in his third career at-bat.
"We didn't take advantage," Molitor said. "I think we could've put a couple more runs on the board. But thankfully we got the big hit from Rosario."
Rosario's big hit wouldn't have been possible without Twins right-hander Phil Hughes getting through six innings and allowing three runs despite not having his best stuff. Reliever Casey Fien threw two scoreless innings and picked up the win, while closer Glen Perkins tossed a 1-2-3 ninth to improve to a perfect 22-for-22 in save opportunities.
"Phil had to grind it," Molitor said. "He's just had trouble finding the feel of his pitches and was missing up early. But he was able to minimize the damage and got through six innings. Our bullpen did great with Casey getting a couple big zeros for us and Glen staying perfect."
Hughes, who has a 4.79 ERA this year after posting a 3.52 ERA in 2014, said he's only had good stuff in just one of his 13 outings, but insisted he isn't injured and doesn't have a problem with his mechanics. He said he was just happy the Twins were able to come away with the victory.
"We've been scuffling for sure so hopefully getting a win gets us on the right foot," Hughes said. "It's obviously a positive thing for us. It makes for a happy flight so we'll take it."