ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Leonys Martin hit a game-winning bases-loaded single with two out in the ninth inning to give the Texas Rangers a 2-1 victory over the Minnesota Twins Saturday night.
Alex Rios doubled with one out against losing pitcher Caleb Thielbar (2-2).
Two walks and one out later, Martin sent a ground ball past Brian Duensing, the Twins’ third pitcher of the inning, to send Rios home.
Starting pitchers Matt Garza of the Rangers and Mike Pelfrey each gave up a first-inning run before shutting out their opponent over the next six innings.
Brian Dozier led off the game with his 15th home run, a season record for a Minnesota second baseman.
Adrian Beltre’s sacrifice fly following two singles allowed Texas to tie the score 1-1 in the bottom of the first inning.
Joe Nathan (5-2) pitched a scoreless ninth for the win.
However, the Rangers’ Elvis Andrus left the game that inning because of tightness in his lower back.
Martin’s walkoff hit, after going hitless in his first four at-bats, was the second of his career and the Rangers’ sixth this season.
Saturday’s victory gave AL West-leading Texas a 20-7 record for August, the league’s best.
Dozier’s homer broke a tie with Tim Teufel (1984) for the most by a Twins second basemen.
The second leadoff homer this season for Dozier also was his 48th extra-base hit, the most for any active Minnesota player after Justin Morneau was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Without Morneau, the Twins managed just five hits against Garza and relievers Jason Frasor and Nathan.
Their 11 strikeouts marked the 51st time this season Minnesota batters have struck out at least 10 times.
In the bottom of the first, one-out singles by Andrus and Ian Kinsler preceded Beltre’s sacrifice fly.
While running from first base to third, Andrus grimaced and slowed down before reaching the base. Adam Rosales pinch ran for Andrus and scored on the sacrifice fly.
Rosales remained in the game as the designated hitter. The Rangers indicated that Andrus’ removal was precautionary, and listed him day to day.
Garza threw a season-high 119 pitches and struck out nine, his highest total in eight starts for Texas. He allowed only three hits and walked three in his seven innings.
Pelfrey, who did not walk anyone, threw 98 pitches in matching his longest outing this season.
The Rangers managed just six hits, all singles, against him. Pelfrey retired 13 consecutive batters between the third and sixth innings.
NOTES: The Twins recalled catcher Josmil Pinto from Triple-A Rochester to take Morneau’s roster spot. Outfielder Alex Presley, acquired from Pittsburgh in the Morneau trade, will join Minnesota on Sunday. Manager Ron Gardenhire said Presley would play center field and bat leadoff. … Texas will activate designated hitter Lance Berkman and right-handers Nick Tepesch and Neftali Feliz from the disabled list Sunday, when the active roster can expand from 25 to as many as 40 players.