Rosario's home run, four hits lead Twins over Rang
Texas Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor (12) throws to first for the out on Minnesota Twins' Danny Santana, not seen, as Juan Centeno (37) looks to avoid the tag during the seventh inning of a baseball game Saturday, July 9, 2016, in Arlington, Texas. Centeno was later tagged out on the play. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade)
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) Eddie Rosario might have had his first career cycle if not for 6-foot-5, 289-pound teammate Kennys Vargas lumbering ahead of him on the bases.
Rosario homered, tied a career record with four hits and scored a career-high four runs as the Minnesota Twins beat the Texas Rangers 8-6 Saturday night. One of his two doubles, to the wall in right-center, might have gone for a triple as he trailed Vargas.
''Maybe. Maybe,'' Rosario said with a smile. ''Slow guy.''
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The Twins, with the American League's worst record, have won four of six against the club with the league's best record over the past nine days to clinch the season series with one game left. Minnesota has outscored Texas 47-25 in the six games.
The Twins overall have won six of their last eight games.
Ricky Nolasco (4-7) won for the first time since June 13. He allowed three earned runs and nine hits with no walks in six innings.
Kyle Lohse (0-1) gave up six runs on nine hits after being officially added to Texas' roster from Triple-A Round Rock earlier Saturday. Lohse, 37, last started a major league game last August for the Milwaukee Brewers. He made his big league debut with the Twins in 2001.
Rosario, hitting .206 going into the game, hit his fourth home run of the season into the upper deck in right field in the fifth inning, doubled twice and singled. His previous four-hit game came on April 21 against the Brewers.
It was Rosario's third multi-hit game of the season, his second in three games. The 24-year-old was hitting .200 when sent down to Triple-A Rochester in late May after hitting .267 in 122 games as a rookie last season. In seven July games since being recalled, he's hitting .346.
''I think we've seen a little bit of last year's Eddie, and we've seen a little bit of the early-season Eddie,'' Twins manager Paul Molitor said. ''He's getting a chance. He's coming out there and just kind of letting it fly with a little bit more discipline.''
Eduardo Nunez hit his 12th home run of the season. His previous career high was five.
Brandon Kintzler got a four-out save for his fifth of the season.
Lohse's five-inning start ended a club-record seven-game stretch during which no Rangers starter lasted that far. With Texas losing six of its last eight games, starters have an ERA of 10.45 during that span with opponents hitting .400. Three of the Rangers' regular starters have been on the disabled list: Yu Darvish, Colby Lewis and Derek Holland.
''That in itself does put pressure on the offense,'' Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. ''Guys don't play as relaxed at times. It's obviously a challenge. We go as our starters go.''
The game began after a rain delay of 1 hour, 10 minutes.
NOLASCO PICKS AGAIN
Nolasco recorded his second successful pickoff in three weeks when he nabbed Ian Desmond in the first inning with one on and none out to help prevent what might have been a big inning for Texas. He got the Philadelphia Phillies' Odubel Herrera on June 23.
''Most of the time it's their fault more than mine,'' Nolasco said. ''I just try to keep `em close with some moves. It was huge.''
Twins: CF Byron Buxton (knee bruise) didn't play after leaving Friday's game in the first inning after colliding with the outfield wall. An MRI taken Saturday morning was negative. ''Either you go out there and play with all you've got, or you don't play at all,'' Buxton said. ''I try not to pay attention to the wall, worry about focusing on the ball.''
Rangers: Darvish (shoulder soreness) is scheduled to throw 75 pitches in a rehab assignment Sunday for Double-A Frisco. He is tentatively slated to start for Texas on July 16 at the Chicago Cubs.
Minnesota LHP Tommy Milone (1-2) allowed one run over six innings in his last start, equaling his longest outing of the season to earn the win. Texas RHP A.J. Griffin (3-0) hasn't gotten a decision in three starts since returning from the disabled list (right shoulder stiffness).