Locked and loaded: Arcia sparks Twins in dramatic victory

Oswaldo Arcia played just four games at the start of the season before missing extended time with a wrist injury. On Tuesday, he made up for lost time.

Jesse Johnson

MINNEAPOLIS — Welcome back, Oswaldo Arcia.

In just his second game with the Twins since April 4, Arcia provided one of the biggest bats in Minnesota’s crazy 4-3 win over the Texas Rangers. On top of his solo homer in the second inning to put the Twins on the board, Arcia doubled to lead off the ninth and scored the tying run against Rangers closer Joakim Soria as Minnesota rallied for the win.

Tuesday was just Arcia’s sixth game in the majors this year and his second in more than a month, but the Twins outfielder looks locked in at the plate.

"He’s swinging good," said Twins manager Ron Gardenhire. "During batting practice, that group of him and (Josmil) Pinto and a couple others, they cost the baseball team a lot of money with balls in the seats during BP, so I’m glad it finally went into the game."

Arcia played just four games at the start of the season before missing extended time with a wrist injury. After he was activated from the 15-day disabled list, Minnesota decided to option him to Triple-A Rochester to get some more at-bats before he rejoined the big-league club.

While the Twins could have called him up during their road series in San Francisco, they instead waited until Monday’s game against Texas to bring both he and Josh Willingham back into the fold. Arcia doubled in his first at-bat Monday but was thrown out trying to stretch it to a triple.

One game later, Arcia outdid himself. He tattooed an 89 mph fastball from former Twins pitcher Scott Baker into the seats in right-center field for his first home run of the season. Arcia hit 14 homers as a rookie in 2013 and hit five in 22 games with Triple-A Rochester before he was recalled this week.

Minnesota has always known Arcia has that type of power. He displayed it once again Tuesday night.

"He came up and is swinging the bat really well," Gardenhire said. "He just missed another home run there. He’s hustling. He’s running, working pretty hard at it. That’s fun to see. We need that desperately. Maybe we’ll get some people on when he’s up there and drive in some runs for us. A big night for him."

Twins 4, Rangers 3

Despite Arcia’s big blast in the second inning, the Twins entered the ninth trailing 3-2 with just four hits on the board as the offense once again appeared to be stuck in the mud. Arcia stepped to the plate with one out in the ninth and hit a ball to the deepest part of Target Field, sending a laser high off the wall in right-center for a double. It was Arcia’s fifth hit of the season and the fourth that went for extra bases.

"I didn’t assume it was going to go out," Arcia said through a translator. "I hit it hard. I figured it might hit the wall and come back. That’s why I was running hard to second."

Seemingly everyone else in the park thought Arcia’s deep drive was going to tie the game. But even when it hit high off the wall, it generated a buzz in Target Field as Minnesota threatened to rally against Soria and the Rangers.

"I think just being down by one and Arcia coming up with that huge hit and putting himself in scoring position right away, that kind of pumped everybody up a little bit," said Twins catcher Kurt Suzuki. "It gives us a chance. That’s what you want. You just want to give yourself a chance to win and come back."

Though he just missed tying the game by a few feet, Arcia eventually came around to score the tying run from second base on Eduardo Nunez’s two-out single to right field. Nunez later scored the game-winning run on a crazy play after Soria couldn’t field a Danny Santana grounder in front of home plate. The Twins were walk-off winners, 4-3, their third walk-off victory of the season.

It’s the first such win that Arcia has been a part of, and he had plenty to do with it as Minnesota snapped its four-game losing streak.

"I feel good. I’m seeing the pitches very well," Arcia said. "I’m very happy. The object is to win the game, so I’m very happy we won the game."

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