Rangers lose DeShields, fall to Twins
The quality-start streak for the Texas Rangers matched a franchise high 10 Sunday after Nick Martinez went seven innings and allowed three runs.
The quality of the finish wasn't quite up to snuff though against the Minnesota Twins.
Minnesota, which had nine extra-base hits, got a game-winning double from Eddie Rosario with two outs in the ninth to lift the Twins to a 4-3 victory over the Rangers and end the Texas chance at a sweep.
Despite all the extra-base hits the Rangers had their chances. That was until the Rosario hit off Shawn Tolleson in the ninth inning. Tolleson had escaped trouble earlier in the inning by getting an out at third on a bad bunt attempt.
He wasn't as fortunate against Rosario.
"I fell behind a lot of hitters, a lot of 2-0 counts," Tolleson said. "I wasn't really putting myself in a good position there. Every loss is tough. It hurts a little bit. We looked great those first two games. We looked great today too."
The Rangers made it look good early despite all the extra-base hits because Martinez was able to work out of trouble.
He gave up two runs in the first inning but Minnesota didn't score again until the sixth inning. And in that inning it took three triples for Minnesota to score one run. That's the first time in the last 50 years a team has had three triples in an inning and scored just once.
That kind of maneuvering helped the Rangers match the 1978 team as the only one to have 10 consecutive quality starts. In this stretch the Rangers are 6-4. Martinez, who became the first pitcher to notch a quality start despite allowing seven extra-base hits since 2009, struck out five. He's now allowed three earned runs or less in 12 of his 13 starts this season.
Sunday was a lot of work to do it.
"It was one of those days where I had to battle," Martinez said. "I thought I made some good pitches that they hit and I made some bad pitches that they hit. It was just one of those days where you have to grind it out."
The Rangers got Martinez out of the two-run hole by getting homers from Joey Gallo and Leonys Martin in the second inning. Texas gave Martinez the lead in the fifth inning on an RBI grounder from Prince Fielder.
The inning ended when Delino DeShields was caught off standing off second base on the Fielder grounder. While that was a bad play for DeShields his day got worse in the top of the sixth inning.
On a triple from Minnesota's Shane Robinson, the second of the three Minnesota triples, DeShields injured his left hamstring. He had to come out of the game after that play, which tied the game at 3. He'll have an MRI to determine the extent of the injury.
DeShields, who had a bunt single, is batting .269 and is among the American League leaders in triples and stolen bases.