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Rangers 4, Twins 3 (Again): Flame-Throwing Texas 'Pen Continues to Stymie Minnesota

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Twins to lose first series in a month.

There are a few different ways to look at last night’s game. And I’m going to be brief, because the simple fact is that the Twins (who are a pretty good team in their own right) were beaten by a very good team while playing on their turf. These weren’t three consecutive blowouts, they’ve been three well-pitched games in which Texas has simply been able to put together enough offense to win.

Minnesota had their opportunities on Wednesday night, and par for the course in this series weren’t able to come up with a big hit when they needed one the most. In fact, Joe Mauer’s single that broke up the no-hitter on Monday is still the club’s biggest hit of the series. But last night, quite simply, they failed to come through again, and you have to give credit to what’s suddenly become a very legit, dangerous, shut-down bullpen down in Arlington.

Texas relievers have now tossed eight shutout innings in this series, keeping the Twins’ bats at bay to hold one-run leads each of the last two nights. On Wednesday they danced and juked through three innings with five relievers, and the Twins were left flat-footed in the open field. It was akin to watching the Minnesota Vikings secondary through most of the 2000’s.

Denard Span came up with a big RBI double, Danny Valencia picked up three more hits and Brian Duensing probably deserved better than he got, but in the end this is just what happens when you face good teams: they sometimes come out ahead.

Jesse Crain continues to blank opposing offenses, and Jon Rauch pitched a perfect seventh, but that’s pretty much all you can say about last night. Today the Twins have an opportunity to salvage one contest in this four-game midweek tilt, and hopefully timing is on our side and the White Sox can get beat again, too.

Studs

Rangers bullpen

Texas heat

Duds

Twins on the road