ARLINGTON, Texas — A game that featured some sloppy defense by the Rangers had one sparkling play near the end Sunday.
Craig Gentry leaped up and reached over the center field wall to rob the Twins’ Joe Mauer of a two-run homer in the top of the ninth.
The Rangers trailed, 6-5, at the time and two more runs would have all but sunk their comeback chances. The Rangers failed to score in the bottom of the ninth, but Gentry’s catch at least gave them a chance.
“The catch was huge,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said. “We were one swing away from tying the ballgame.”
Gentry showed no ill effects from a fifth-inning collision with second baseman Ian Kinsler. Both players were chasing a fly ball when Gentry called off Kinsler just before impact.
Gentry made the catch but stayed on the ground for several minutes. He eventually was able to walk off the field and then bat leadoff in the bottom of the inning.
“I guess he got the wind knocked out of him,” Washington said. “When he yelled for it, Kinsler tried to get out of the way but they ended up colliding and got him in his lower stomach area.”
The Rangers’ stomachs were already churning from a couple of plays in the third inning.
A throwing error by first baseman Mitch Moreland allowed the Twins’ Ben Revere to advance to second on a bunt.
Then a botched rundown resulted in Revere advancing to third. Third baseman Adrian Beltre was charged with an error when the ball fell out of his glove as he reached to tag Revere, who eventually scored.
But after the Rangers climbed back to within a run of the lead, Gentry came up with perhaps the defensive play of the game.
“Obviously when you rob a home run, it’s always impressive,” Rangers outfielder David Murphy said. “He had time to get back there and with the type of athlete Craig is, I’m definitely not surprised that he caught that ball.”