It was one of nine extra-base hits for the Twins, scoring top prospect Byron Buxton from first in what became the decisive blow in a back-and-forth game. It snapped Minnesota's losing streak at five games.
"Wins are good and they've been hard to come by as of late," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "It wasn't easy today."
Minnesota scored two runs on two hits and a walk in the first inning, but Texas answered back with two runs of its own in the second. Texas took the lead in the fifth, but had the inning cut short when Delino DeShields wandered off second base and was tagged out, apparently thinking Prince Fielder's groundout had ended the inning.
Minnesota brought one across to tie the game on a Shane Robinson triple in what became a wild sixth inning, and the Rangers offense fell victim to the Twins bullpen duo of Casey Fien and Glen Perkins, who earned his league-leading 22nd save.
DeShields left the game in the sixth inning with a left hamstring injury and will undergo a precautionary MRI.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Buxton scores go-ahead run: After Eduardo Escobar doubled to open the ninth, Buxton was called on to lay down a sacrifice bunt. But he hit it too hard to Tolleson, who was able to throw Escobar out at third. But with two outs, Rosario smacked a double into the right-center field gap to easily score the speedy Buxton from first. More >
"I told myself if Rosie hit one in the gap, I was going to score," Buxton said. "And sure enough, he hit one in the gap and I just hustled around."
Martinez gets through triple threat: Minnesota hit three triples in the sixth inning, but Nick Martinez escaped allowing only one run. Eduardo Nunez led off the inning with a three-bagger and scored on a triple into left-center from Robinson. Robinson, though, was picked off when catcher Robinson Chirinos threw down and caught him off the bag. Escobar followed with a third triple, but Martinez struck out Buxton to end the inning and keep the game tied at 3. It marked the first time in franchise history the Twins had three triples in an inning. The Twins are the only team in the past 50 years to hit three triples in an inning and score one or zero runs, according to Elias Sports Bureau. More >
"I got to tip my hat to Chirinos," Martinez said. "Basically, he saved the game. The game could have [been over earlier than it was]."
Dozier giveth, Dozier taketh away:Brian Dozier opened the game with his 10th career leadoff homer, and later snared a hard line drive from Joey Gallo in the fourth to end a rally for the Rangers. Mitch Moreland doubled with one out, but was doubled off at second to end the inning with Dozier's leaping grab.
Power surge: One day after notching seven extra-base hits, the Rangers got home runs from Gallo and Leonys Martin in the second inning. Gallo's shot was his fourth of the year and his second in as many days. Martin's homer, which landed almost the same spot as Gallo's in center field, was also his fourth.
"I haven't had a conversation with him about that. Typically I wait until after the game to have those personal discussions. Obviously he didn't feel like it was necessary to be on the bag at that time." -- Rangers manager Jeff Banister on DeShields' baserunning blunder
"It was amazing, especially making your debut and scoring the winning run. It's an amazing feeling. It's a day I'll cherish forever." -- Buxton on his Major League debut
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Robinson had never had two triples in any of his six seasons in the Majors, but tripled twice on Sunday. It marked the first two-triple game by a Twins player since Alexi Casilla did it on May 1, 2011. Minnesota also had four triples for just the second time in franchise history, as the only other time came on June 2, 1964.
WHAT'S NEXT Twins: The Twins head to St. Louis for a two-game Interleague series with rookie right-hander Trevor May getting the start in the series opener on Monday at 7:15 p.m. CT. May is 4-4 with a 4.16 ERA in 11 outings this year, but has been better of late, as he has a 3.03 ERA over his last five starts.
Rangers:Yovani Gallardo (5-6, 3.45 ERA) gets the start as Texas plays the first of two games at home against the Dodgers at 7:05 p.m. CT. Gallardo is 2-4 with a 5.23 ERA against the Dodgers. The Rangers will travel to Los Angeles for two more against the Dodgers on Wednesday and Thursday.