ARLINGTON -- The Rangers took advantage of four unearned runs off one game-turning error in the eighth inning and held on for a 6-2 victory over the Twins on Friday night.
The Rangers had the bases loaded with two outs in the eighth when Mitch Moreland, facing left-handed reliever Brian Duensing, drove a ball to deep center. Twins center fielder Aaron Hicks raced back in time to get to the ball. But he let it slip off his glove and two runs scored on the error. With runners on second and third, Elvis Andrus followed with a two-run single.
"To be able to get it done in the late innings like that, -- it has been done a couple of times against us lately -- it was a really good win for us," Moreland said.
Twins starter Tommy Milone, in his second start since being recalled from Triple-A Rochester, took a 1-0 lead in the seventh before giving up a two-run home run to Andrus. Rangers starter Wandy Rodriguezallowed one run in 6 2/3 innings. At one point he retired 18 straight hitters.
"The pattern is we're not putting together good innings as far as starting and completing an inning and pushing runs across," Twins manager Paul Molitor said about his club, which has now lost a season-high four straight games.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Andrus breaks drought: The Rangers entered the seventh inning having gone 20 straight innings without a run. They were 3-for-59 in that stretch. But Prince Fielder led off the inning with a single and, two batters later, Andrus put a 1-1 fastball into the left-field seats. More >
Dozier ties it in the eighth: After Andrus connected on a go-ahead two-run homer in the seventh, Brian Dozier quickly tied it up for the Twins with a solo blast to lead off the eighth off right-hander Tanner Scheppers. It was the team-leading 12th homer of the year for Dozier.
Kela gets out of jam: The Rangers called on Keone Kela to get them out of a two-out, bases-loaded jam in the seventh. He retired Hicks on a slow chopper to short to end the threat.
Twins strike early: The Twins loaded the bases with nobody out to open the game after Dozier walked, Torii Hunter reached on a bunt single and Joe Mauer singled to left. Trevor Plouffe got Minnesota on the board with a sacrifice fly to left, but the Twins stranded Hunter and Mauer.
"We put the rally together right out of the chute," Molitor said. "I was happy with the one run with the way things have been going as of late. But we couldn't get the big hit. We had a couple other chances, but couldn't get two-out hits."
"I was one of 30,000-plus trying to blow that ball out of his glove" -- Andrus on Moreland's drive that eluded Hicks in the eighth
"It's just ridiculous. I don't understand how I missed the play. I know I make that play every time" -- Hicks on dropping Moreland's line drive
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Rodriguez threw 122 pitches, the most by a Rangers starter this season. It was also their most since Yu Darvish threw 126 on May 9, 2014.
WHAT'S NEXT Twins: Right-hander Mike Pelfrey takes the mound for the Twins in the second game of the series on Saturday at 3:05 p.m. CT. Pelfrey has been on a roll, as he's posted a 0.96 ERA over his last four starts to lower his ERA on the season to 2.28.
Rangers: Right-hander Colby Lewis pitches for the Rangers at 3:05 p.m. CT on Saturday. Lewis is winless in seven career starts against the Twins, the only AL team he has never beaten. He has a three-game winning streak at home.