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Pavano Good, Feldman Better, Rangers Blank Twins

Twins 0, Rangers 3.  That was frustrating.

It was an early strike by the Rangers that did all the necessary damage on Saturday night.  I'm glad I fell asleep during the fifth inning, because I'm pretty sure my frustration wouldn't have let me sleep.

Carl Pavano struck out Julio Borbon to start the game.  Good start.  Michael Young followed that up with a single and Josh Hamilton doubled into the left-center gap for a run scoring double on a liner just over the outstretched glove of Orlando Cabrera.  It gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead three batters into the game, and ultimately it was all they'd need.  Two batters later, Ian Kinsler kicked off his big game with a liner into center field to plate Hamilton, completing a two-run first for Texas.

In spite of Carlos Gomez slipping twice in the outfield, Pavano had a solid night.  After those two runs scored, he settled in, largely kept Texas off the bases and tallied a few strikeouts.

The offense blanked itself last night as much as the Rangers did it to them.  In the first, Joe Mauer grounded into a double play to end the inning.  Brendan Harris grounded into another one in the second to end a possible threat.  Harris doubled to lead off the fifth but was stranded there.  Cabrera and Mauer ended up on second and third with one out in the sixth--Scott Feldman got Jason Kubel to pop out before Neftali Feliz got Michael Cuddyer to strike out on a wicked curveball low and away.  Gameday insists it was in the strike zone, but I don't believe it.

After the sixth the Twins were retired in order, nine up and nine down.  Feliz knocked them down in the seventh, C.J. Wilson pitched a perfect eighth and Frank Francisco looked every bit the stud while striking out Morneau, Kubel and Cuddyer to lock it up.

Chicago and Detroit did the Twins a favor by losing on Saturday, but these are the games this team needs to be winning.  Saturday was a gift day, and it went to waste.

Sunday is another day, and another chance to win.  I'll see you for the game.

Stars
#3:  Jesse Crain  (1.1 IP, 1 K 0 R, .048 WPA)
#2:  Orlando Cabrera  (0-for-2, 2 BB, .018 WPA)
#1:  Carl Pavano  (6 IP, 6 H, 7 K, 1 BB, 2 R, .058 WPA)

Duds
Justin Morneau -- Not a good day at the dish.
Alexi Casilla -- A pair of strikeouts, also nicht good.
Jose Mijares -- Gave up a home run to Ivan Rodriguez.