MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -The mighty Texas offense rolled into Friday night's game against Minnesota with one player on a 25-game
hitting streak and another coming off a jaw-dropping 28-dinger round in the Home Run Derby.
It's no wonder
and the rest of these Rangers are the only team left in the majors not to be shutout.
Make that were.
pitched six shutout innings in the Twins' 6-0 victory on Friday night, the first time the Rangers have been blanked since
Aug. 19 of last season.
''We're always flat when we come from a day off,'' said Hamilton, who was the toast of All-Star weekend for his power display
in the derby on Monday night. ''If you look back on the whole season, I'm not sure how many times we've won on the days coming
back from a day off.''
The last time Texas was shut out, former Twins ace
fanned 17 Rangers at the Metrodome. This time it was a blossoming rookie left-hander who entered spring training just hoping
to get a spot in the bullpen.
Perkins (7-2) allowed just three hits to a Rangers team that entered the game leading the majors in most offensive categories,
including batting average, runs, hits, slugging percentage and total bases.
Perkins wasn't particularly sharp, but was able to keep his composure and dance around the heavy hitters at the top of the
''He was effectively wild,'' Twins pitching coach
said. ''He wasn't as sharp as he has been, but he kept coming at them.''
Kinsler's 25-game hit streak came to an end with an 0-for-4 night, Hamilton went 0-for-4 and
was 0-for-2 with a walk in his first game since April 25.
So was Hamilton - the feel-good story of the summer for his comeback from drug addiction - a little tired after all the attention
he received for the most memorable second-place finish in Home Run Derby history?
''No. Just went home two days ago,'' Hamilton said. ''I spent a couple days there. We'll be all right. We'll just come back
and get them tomorrow.''
tied a career high by going 4-for-4 with an RBI, even though only one of those hits got out of the infield on the fly.
That's how these small-ball Twins operate. They are last in the AL in home runs, but first in the majors in hitting with runners
in scoring position at .311.
''We find different ways to win games. We're not going to come out there and hit three-run home runs every inning,'' Young
said. ''You just go out and collect hit after hit. If you can string together at least three singles, that's at least good
for one run.''
Minnesota broke the game open in trademark fashion with four runs on five singles in the seventh inning to chase
each had two hits and two RBIs for the Twins, who got shutout innings in relief from
Perkins hasn't lost a decision since May 30 against the Yankees and is one of the big reasons why
remains stuck in Triple-A Rochester.
''I've had a lot of fun with it,'' Perkins said. ''It's just being able to help the team and get the team wins is what I'm
trying to do and that's why I've been successful as a starter so far.''
Liriano's agent has asked the union to investigate why his client has not been called up yet despite dominating hitters for
the past six weeks. But with Perkins and fellow young starters
pitching so well, the Twins are having trouble finding a spot for him in the rotation.
The Rangers would love to have that problem. Their bullpen leads the major leagues in innings pitched, averaging nearly four
per game over their previous 24 outings.
Millwood had a solid outing through six innings, the first time he's made it that deep in five starts. But he only managed
one out in the seventh as the Twins got a two-run single from Kubel and RBI singles from Young and Buscher in the inning.
Notes: Rangers SS
extended his hitting streak to 16 games with a first-inning single. ... Hamilton played in RF with
in CF. ... Twins INF
was scheduled to have a cortisone shot in his strained left ring finger. Manager
said he would sit out the next two games to see how it takes and could be available on Sunday. If it doesn't do the trick,
Punto could be headed to the disabled list.