Rangers
Twins
2 - 14 Final
  for this game

Morneau, Mauer power Twins past Rangers

Jul 20, 2008 - 3:16 AM By Anthony Maggio PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

MINNEAPOLIS (Ticker) -- The Texas Rangers have seen too much of All-Star Justin Morneau.

The Minnesota Twins first baseman drove in a season-high tying five runs on Saturday - the second time he's done so this season and third time in his career - while the Twins set season highs in home runs and runs scored in a 14-2 triumph over the Rangers at the Metrodome.

Morneau, Joe Mauer, Delmon Young and Brian Buscher all homered for the Twins while Livan Hernandez improved to 8-1 in 12 home starts this season.

Morneau's three-RBI double in the fifth inning was the decisive blow to give Minnesota a four-run advantage, and the Twins blew the game open from there.

"The guy is a good hitter," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "He went out there and flipped it and split that gap perfectly. We got two strikes on him, we just couldn't put him away. He just won't go away."

Morneau has a .333 average against Texas this season with two home runs and 13 RBI in nine games - but he had plenty of help on Saturday.

Hernandez (10-6) won for the fourth time in his last six starts, allowing just two runs on five hits and a walk in seven innings. And with Francisco Liriano publicly calling for a promotion from Class AAA Rochester, Hernandez proved once again that despite his 5.29 earned run average he isn't about to lose his spot.

"He's 8-1 at home, that's pretty good," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He's had some bad games where he's given up a lot of runs, but he's doing what we brought him here to do - eat up innings. He's doing his job."

"I don't work in the office, but (Liriano) is pitching good - he's been nasty down there," Hernandez said. "He's one of my best friends. But right now, nothing is going to happen because everyone is pitching good up here.

"And always in my career I'm better in the second half."

Hernandez's only mistake was a two-run homer allowed to Chris Davis in the second inning, which changed the Twins' lead on Mauer's solo home run in the first inning to a one-run deficit. From there, Hernandez retired 12 straight Rangers, and Minnesota was well in control by the time All-Star Josh Hamilton hit a two-out single in the sixth inning to end Hernandez's streak.

Texas starter Matt Harrison (1-1) coughed up the lead in the fourth inning when Craig Monroe snapped an 0-for-15 slump with an RBI single and Young followed with an RBI single of his own.

Back-to-back one-out doubles by Denard Span and Carlos Gomez - the second a gift thanks to David Murphy's lack of attention - put runners on second and third in the fifth inning and Mauer got ahead 3-0 before being intentionally walked with two out. Morneau cleared the bases with a deep shot to the gap in left-center field on a 1-2 pitch to give Minnesota a 6-2 advantage and break the game open.

"I was ready to hit," Morneau said. "It's a situation where you try not to be too aggressive, you want to come up with a big hit. The pressure is on him, they just loaded the bases. It felt pretty good."

The Twins made it a laugher with a six-run sixth inning, starting with a Young solo homer and Brian Buscher's single to chase Harrison.

The rookie lefthander was making only his third career start and suffered his second consecutive rough outing. After allowing five runs in 2 2/3 innings on July 13 against Chicago, Harrison gave up eight runs on nine hits with three walks in five innings to push his ERA up to 9.20.

"I thought the kid did a good job," Washington said. "If he could've gotten Morneau out there, he probably would've been all right going into the seventh inning. The guy is a good hitter. He threw him a slider and he split that gap. That's baseball, game of inches."

Minnesota turned the inches to miles against reliever Dustin Nippert. The righthander gave up a one-out infield single to Span and an RBI double to Gomez, then allowed a two-out, two-RBI double from Mauer and a two-run homer from Morneau as Minnesota sent nine to the plate in the inning.

Buscher added a two-run homer off Josh Rupe in the seventh inning to give Minnesota a season-high four homers - its largest total since blasting six on July 6, 2007 in Chicago against the White Sox.

"We got some homers tonight, but these rallies have pretty much been getting those key two-out hits that break the back of the other team," Morneau said. "The guys make good pitches, get the two outs, then we flip a single the other way, a guy scores. That puts a lot of pressure on the other team and really bugs them. Those big two out hits are what really give us momentum."








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    TEXAS 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 5 0
    MINNESOTA 1 0 0 2 3 6 2 0 x 14 16 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: TEX - MATT HARRISON, DUSTIN NIPPERT (6TH), JOSH RUPE (7TH), FRANK
    FRANCISCO (8TH) AND MAX RAMIREZ
    MIN - LIVAN HERNANDEZ, BRIAN BASS (8TH), DENNYS REYES
    (9TH) AND J

    Jul 19 9:45 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY BRIAN BUSCHER (2) TO RIGHT WITH 0 OUT
    IN THE 7TH OFF JOSH RUPE SCORED DELMON YOUNG.
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 2, MINNESOTA 14
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: B HARRIS (.262, 0-FOR-3)

    Rangers 2, Twins 14  Bot 7, 0 OutsJul 19 9:11 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY JUSTIN MORNEAU (15) TO RIGHT WITH 2 OUT
    IN THE 6TH OFF DUSTIN NIPPERT SCORED JOE MAUER.
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 2, MINNESOTA 12
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: C MONROE (.205, 1-FOR-3, RBI)

    Rangers 2, Twins 12  Bot 6, 0 OutsJul 19 8:55 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY JOE MAUER SCORED DENARD SPAN AND CARLOS GOMEZ.
    SITUATION: 4 RUNS IN, J MAUER ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 2
    MINNESOTA 10 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: J MORNEAU (.324, 1-FOR-2, BB, 3 RBI)

    Rangers 2, Twins 10  Bot 6, 0 OutsJul 19 8:53 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY CARLOS GOMEZ SCORED BRIAN BUSCHER.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, C GOMEZ ON SECOND, D SPAN ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 2
    MINNESOTA 8 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: A CASILLA (.322, 1-FOR-3)

    Rangers 2, Twins 8  Bot 6, 0 OutsJul 19 8:47 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY DELMON YOUNG (4) TO CENTER WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 6TH OFF MATT HARRISON.
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 2, MINNESOTA 7
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: B BUSCHER (.315, 0-FOR-2)

    Rangers 2, Twins 7  Bot 6, 0 OutsJul 19 8:37 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY JUSTIN MORNEAU SCORED DENARD SPAN, CARLOS GOMEZ
    AND JOE MAUER.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, J MORNEAU ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 2
    MINNESOTA 6 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: C MONROE (.207, 1-FOR-2, RBI)

    Rangers 2, Twins 6  Bot 5, 0 OutsJul 19 8:27 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY DELMON YOUNG SCORED JUSTIN MORNEAU.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, D YOUNG ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 2
    MINNESOTA 3 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: B BUSCHER (.318, 0-FOR-1)

    Rangers 2, Twins 3  Bot 4, 0 OutsJul 19 8:08 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY CRAIG MONROE SCORED ALEXI CASILLA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J MORNEAU ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 2
    MINNESOTA 2 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: D YOUNG (.294, 0-FOR-1)

    Rangers 2, Twins 2  Bot 4, 0 OutsJul 19 8:08 PM
  • 10
    roots
    DDrake Added 10 roots

    Rangers 2, Twins 1  Bot 3, 0 OutsJul 19 7:51 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY CHRIS DAVIS (7) TO RIGHT WITH 2 OUT IN
    THE 2ND OFF LIVAN HERNANDEZ SCORED MARLON BYRD.
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 2, MINNESOTA 1
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: M RAMIREZ (.256, 2 HR, 9 RBI)

    Rangers 2, Twins 1  Top 2, 0 OutsJul 19 7:35 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY JOE MAUER (6) TO CENTER WITH 2 OUT IN THE
    1ST OFF MATT HARRISON.
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 0, MINNESOTA 1
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: J MORNEAU (.323, 14 HR, 68 RBI)

    Rangers 0, Twins 1  Bot 1, 0 OutsJul 19 7:26 PM