Arlington, TX (Sports Network) – Vladimir Guerrero’s 430th career home run leading off the sixth proved to be the difference, as the Texas Rangers beat the Twins for the third straight day, 4-3, at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.
Guerrero finished with three hits and two RBI for the Rangers, winners in four straight. Josh Hamilton also homered and drove in two, while Andres Blanco finished 2-for-3.
C.J. Wilson (13-5) continued his excellent season with six strong innings, allowing just three runs — two earned — on seven hits and two walks while fanning six. Matt Harrison notched his second save.
Danny Valencia went 3-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored for the Twins, who have lost four of five but still lead Chicago by 3 1/2 games after the White Sox lost to Baltimore. Jason Kubel and Denard Span each had two hits in defeat.
Brian Duensing (7-2) suffered his first loss since the All-Star break after yielding four runs, six hits and a walk in six frames.
After the Twins tied the game with two runs in the fifth, Guerrero put the Rangers back in front with his 23rd home run of the season leading off the sixth.
The Rangers’ bullpen was able to protect the one-run lead. Michael Kirkman pitched around a two-out single in the seventh, and Darren O’Day, Darren Oliver and Alexi Ogando each recorded an out in a scoreless eighth.
Ogando stayed on to record the first out of the ninth, and Harrison retired two batters to polish off the win.
Hamilton’s two-run blast in the opening inning put Texas on top, but the Twins quickly cut their deficit in half in the second on Valencia’s RBI groundout.
Michael Young singled with one away in the third, moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on Guerrero’s two-out base hit for a 3-1 Rangers advantage.
Valencia’s base hit leading off the Minnesota fifth sparked the Twins to score twice and tie the game. J.J. Hardy singled two batters later, and Span’s double plated one.
Orlando Hudson walked to load the bases with one out, and Joe Mauer’s ground ball scored Hardy for a 3-3 score. Michael Cuddyer flied out with a chance to put the Twins ahead for the first time.
Wilson is 6-0 since the All-Star break…Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus went 0-for-4 to have a 14-game hit streak snapped…Hamilton has a hit and RBI in six straight games and has homered in four of his last five games…The season series is tied, 3-3, as the home team has won each contest.