Down 4, Rangers battle back to defeat Twins

Down 4, Rangers battle back to defeat Twins

MINNEAPOLIS -- Elvis Andrus hit a go-ahead sacrifice fly in the eighth inning and Mitch Moreland drove in four runs to help the Rangers beat the Twins, 6-5, on Thursday at Target Field.

"It was a big win, especially after yesterday's game," Andrus said. "We were able to bounce back and have a great game. Now we have to go home, take that momentum with us and get back on a winning streak."

Moreland's two-run homer

The Twins jumped out to a four-run lead in the second inning, but Moreland helped stage a comeback, hitting a two-run home run in the fourth inning and a two-run double in the fifth. Minnesota tied the game in the sixth with an Aaron Hicks single, but left fielder Shane Robinson was thrown out trying to score the go-ahead run and the score remained tied until the eighth.

"It was a winnable game and kind of disappointing when you have a chance to complete a three-game sweep," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "We kind of let this one slip away."

Hicks' RBI single

Rangers starter Chi Chi Gonzalez, who was called up to fill in for Cole Hamels, rebounded from the second inning relatively well, breezing through the middle innings before getting into trouble in the sixth. Gonzalez lasted 5 2/3 and gave up five runs while walking five.

Twins starter Ervin Santana, who has been inconsistent this year, got into trouble in the middle innings, coughing up five runs between the fourth and fifth innings. He has given up five runs or more in his three starts at home this season.

Santana fans Gimenez

• Diekman helps provide Rangers with instant relief

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED

Beltre's big day: Moreland had a career high with four hits, but Adrian Beltre was 3-for-4 with three runs scored. It's the first time Beltre has scored three runs in a game since May 4, 2014.

"I did alright," Beltre said. "Just call me the table-setter."

Andrus' go-ahead sacrifice fly

Robinson thrown out: The Twins had runners on first and second when Hicks hit a single to center. Eduardo Escobar scored, but Robinson was thrown out after a relay throw from Andrus to catcher Chris Gimenez beat him handily. Instead of having runners on first and third with one of their top run producers, Brian Dozier, at the plate, the play ended the inning.

"The thing that worked in their favor was the center fielder," Molitor said. "Although he didn't fire the ball in, he led the shortstop where he had some momentum with his throw home. It's a good risk play with two outs trying to score backdoor, especially when you've got a running start over there at first." More >

Rangers nab Robinson at home

Walks hurt Gonzalez: Gonzalez did a great job recovering from a four-run second inning. When Eddie Rosario flied out to lead off the sixth, Gonzalez had retired 11 of 12 batters while his teammates rallied for a 5-4 lead. But he walked two of the next three batters before Keone Kela took over and allowed a game-tying single to Hicks.

Gonzalez strikes out Mauer

Rosario stunts Rangers' threat: Rosario showed off his arm in right field in the seventh after Shin-Soo Choo singled, throwing out Delino DeShields, who was trying to go from first to third on the play. The Rangers would have had runners on the corners with no outs. Instead, Rosario eliminated the threat and the next batter, Prince Fielder, grounded into a double play to end the inning.

"Rosario has shown time and time again that he can throw the ball hard and accurately," Molitor said. "That was a huge play to cut that guy going first to third at the time. Kept the game in check for us."

Rosario cuts down DeShields

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS

This is the sixth time that a Rangers player has had four hits in a season. The Rangers have won all six games.

Fielder's long RBI single

RUNDOWN GOES AWRY

The Rangers failed to get an out on a Twins baserunning error in the second and it helped set up the big inning. The Twins, leading 1-0, had Rosario on first with one out when Escobar singled to right. Rosario went to third on the play and Escobar was caught off first after Andrus cut off the throw. As the Rangers worked the rundown, Rosario broke for home. Moreland's throw was in plenty of time, but Rosario slid wide of the plate and avoided Gimenez's tag. He then scrambled to get to the plate quicker than Gimenez to score the run.

"Nice throw by Moreland," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "It was a situation where the baserunner had already made his lane and he got around the tag. We stayed in control, our guys did what they are trained to do. Everybody did what they were supposed to do. He just got under the tag."

Rosario slides in safely at home

WHAT'S NEXT

Rangers: The Rangers open a three-game series against the Rays with Colby Lewis on the mound at 7:05 p.m. CT on Friday in Arlington. Lewis is 4-1 with a 4.11 ERA in five starts since the All-Star break.

Twins: Trevor May will make the start for the Twins as they kick off a three-game series with the Indians starting at 7:10 p.m. CT on Friday in Minneapolis. May was moved to the bullpen in early July, and is starting in place of Phil Hughes, who is sidelined with back inflammation. He is expected to be held to a pitch count of around 50.

Watch every out-of-market regular season game live on MLB.TV.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. Betsy Helfand is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.