July 28: Minnesota 5, Texas 4
After getting the first out of the inning, Bert Blyleven put the Twins in a pickle by walking two batters in the bottom of the eighth. Eddie Guardado came on in relief and made things worse by hitting Juan Gonzalez to load the bases, and then giving up a two-run double to A-Rod that got Texas within a run with runners on second and third and one out. Next up, Adrian Beltre hit a middle-depth fly ball to centerfielder Kirby Puckett, and Gonzalez made a risky tag-up from third representing the tying run. Puckett strong-armed a bullet to Joe Mauer in plenty of time to cut down Gonzalez at the plate to finish off the double play.
Puckett also had his fifth straight game with two or more hits.
R H BB MN 002 001 020 - 5 7 3 TEX 000 101 020 - 4 7 4 HR: H. Killebrew (5), R. Palmeiro (18) starters IP R ER HR BB SO B. Blyleven 7.1 3 3 1 2 5 C. Hough 8.0 5 5 1 3 3 MN 55-45, TEX 44-57
July 29: Minnesota 3, Texas 2
Jim Shaw and Yu Darvish matched each other with seven innings pitched and two runs allowed.
With Francisco Cordero pitching the top of the ninth for Texas, Joe Cronin led off with a double and Mauer drove him in with a single for the winner. Mauer also knocked a two-run homer in the second and collected all three RBI for Minnesota.
R H BB MN 020 000 001 - 3 8 5 TEX 001 000 010 - 2 9 2 HR: J. Mauer (5) starters IP R ER HR BB SO J. Shaw 7.0 2 2 0 2 3 Y. Darvish 7.0 2 2 1 4 7 MN 56-45, TEX 44-58
July 30: Texas 11, Minnesota 2
Texas never quite knows what they’re going to get from Gerald Perry when his turn in the rotation comes around. His season ERA is unimpressive at 4.82, inflated by five starts in which he gave up six or more earned runs. In his other 16 starts, he’s allowed no more than four earned. He matched his finest line of the season with a complete game, two-run game against the high-average lineup of Minnesota. He yielded eight hits, but they were all singles.
Texas bashed one homer off all four Twins hurlers in the game (Camilo Pascual, Firpo Marberry, Al Worthington, and Eddie Guardado). Pascual struck out Texas’s first batter of the game, but never recorded another out. Two walks, four singles, one error, and one Julio Franco home run later, Pascual hit the showers, but Texas kept raking. Josh Hamilton, Juan Gonzalez, and Franco all drove three hits.
Texas doesn’t do many things well, but they do know how to hit the ball over the fence. They have the most homers in the league (132) and eight different Rangers have double-digit dongs, easily the most in the league.
Minnesota took four of six from Texas on the season.
R H BB MN 000 100 100 - 2 8 3 TEX 700 001 21x - 11 16 5 HR: M. Hargrove (7), J. Hamilton (11), J. Franco (12), A. Rodriguez (22) starters IP R ER HR BB SO C. Pascual 0.1 7 5 1 2 1 G. Perry 9.0 2 2 0 3 1 MN 56-46, TEX 45-58