Hamilton's five RBIs help Rangers roll past Twins

Hamilton's five RBIs help Rangers roll past Twins

Hamilton's five RBIs help Rangers roll past Twins
ARLINGTON -- After Michael Young left to attend the birth of his third child, his teammates took care of business back at the ballpark.

With the game tied at 4 in the eighth inning, Mitch Moreland -- who pinch-hit for Young two innings earlier -- laced an RBI double into left-center field, sparking a six-run rally that gave the Rangers a 10-6 win in Thursday's series opener over the Twins at Rangers Ballpark.

"One through nine, it seems like whoever we send to the plate right now is going to get the job done," Moreland said. "That's what we were able to do. We've come up with a big inning the last two nights and it's helped us pick up a couple wins."

After the clutch hit by Moreland, who witnessed the birth of his first child last month, David Murphy was intentionally walked to load the bases for Geovany Soto, who reached on a fielding error by shortstop Pedro Florimon, allowing Nelson Cruz to score. Ian Kinsler drew a bases-loaded walk two batters later and Elvis Andrus followed with an RBI single to give the Rangers an 8-4 lead before Josh Hamilton's two-run single. Five of the six runs scored in the inning were unearned.

"We kept putting pressure on them," manager Ron Washington said. "We locked in and put some good at-bats together. They made a couple mistakes and then the flood gates opened. I'm just happy that we were able to put as many up on the board as we did because it turned out that we needed it."

The Rangers, who scored at least 10 runs in consecutive games for the fourth time this season, have won five of their past six games. They hold a six-game lead in the American League West and own an AL-best 73-51 record. Thursday's victory was the 500th of Washington's career.

"I think you've got to give a lot of credit to the organization and the players and the coaches and everyone," Washington said. "We got there fast. I didn't get there alone. I'm very happy. I just hope I can stay here long enough to win 500 more."

Hamilton also had a two-run double in the first inning and a sacrifice fly in the fifth as he drove in five runs and has a Major League-leading 107 RBIs this season. Adrian Beltre, who hit three home runs in Wednesday's 12-3 win over the Orioles, homered again, hitting a two-out solo shot in the fifth.

"I'm seeing patience," Washington said of Hamilton. "He's staying over the ball, using the opposite part of the field. He's our horse. So is Beltre. So is Moreland. So is Murphy. If we stay healthy, I think Hamilton can play a huge part in how far we go."

Roy Oswalt, making a spot start while filling in for Yu Darvish, who was scratched with tightness in his right quad, held the Orioles to four runs, three of them earned, on seven hits in 5 1/3 innings. After he hit Joe Mauer in the back with a 3-0 fastball in the third, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire and starting pitcher Scott Diamond were ejected from the game following Diamond's pitch behind Hamilton's head in the bottom half of the inning.

"For some reason, I can't keep the ball true on the left side and he's been beating me away," Oswalt said. "I was trying to get him out in and just dropped my elbow. I can keep it true on the right side. On the left side, I can't really keep it true."

"I don't think he was trying to throw it there," Mauer said. "All I know is there was a base open, 3-0 and I almost got one in the neck. So that's the way I saw it. I didn't hear anything or get an explanation for it. What you guys saw is what I saw."

No warnings were issued before home-plate umpire Wally Bell tossed Diamond and Gardenhire. Diamond was ejected immediately after the pitch, while Gardenhire was ejected for arguing with Bell following the incident. It was Diamond's first career ejection and Gardenhire's third this season.

"I thought I got the hook a little early," Diamond said. "I was a little frustrated because I thought a warning would have been issued but that's the way it goes. I was trying to work in on the pitch and it definitely got away from me. My control wasn't as great tonight. I'm just glad nobody got hurt."

"Any time, in an umpire's judgment, that they go in the head area, we have to take care of business," Bell said. "I felt at the time that he had to be ejected for it."

Tanner Scheppers gave up two runs in the ninth inning, snapping the Rangers bullpen's scoreless-innings streak at 18. Joe Nathan replaced Scheppers and got Ben Revere to fly out to left, converting his 23rd straight save opportunity and picking up his 25th save of the year. He is one of only five active pitchers with seven 25-save seasons.

Christian Corona is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.