Texas-Minnesota: Rangers End Three-Game Skid

Matthew IrbySenior Analyst IMay 22, 2008

This one took a little while to get started, but the Rangers got out of their most recent three-game rut with an impressive victory over the Minnesota Twins.

For the first five innings of this game, the starting pitchers Sidney Ponson (pictured above) and Nick Blackburn, gave us a gem of a pitchers duel. The teams combined for only seven hits and one player each reaching second base for each team.

Then came the top of the sixth.

In the sixth, the Rangers hit the ground running. Michael Young led the inning off with a solo shot to left-center, his fifth of the year. Josh Hamilton followed by singling to center, then after back-to-back fielders choices from Marlon Byrd and David Murphy, and a Twins error, Gerald Laird single up the middle to score Hamilton.

Brandon Boggs and Chris Shelton recorded consecutive singles. Then, with the bases loaded, Ramon Vazquez singled to left field, scoring both Laird and Boggs.  The seven-run inning was completed when Ian Kinsler took the next pitch to deep left field, a three-run shot, and his fifth of the season.

Texas hitters recorded six of their seven RBI hits with two outs. The fielding error by Twins second-baseman Alexi Casilla would have ended the inning with the Rangers scoring on only the Young home run.

The Twins got a run back in the bottom of the inning on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Casilla, scoring Adam Everett.

The Rangers added another run in the top of the seventh when Murphy doubled to deep left field, scoring Hamilton.

Texas notched two more runs in the ninth inning, behind Murphy's AL leading 17th double of the season, scoring Byrd. Murphy was thrown out trying to stretch his double into a triple. The next batter, Laird, clubbed his fourth home run of the season to left-center field.

The Rangers' ten-run outburst somewhat overshadowed the performance of Ponson. Sidney pitched all nine innings, allowing only one run and six hits. He also recorded 18 of his 27 outs on groundballs.

The Minnesota Twins released Ponson from their team last May, and Sidney spent the rest of the season as a free agent, until his comeback with the Rangers this season. 

Ian Kinsler's home run in the sixth inning scored him for the 38th time this season, which ties him with Red Sox outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury for the AL lead.

Josh Hamilton recorded his 51st RBI of the season yesterday. When he hit his 50th RBI, Hamilton became the quickest AL hitter to get 50 RBI, ever. Even Alex Rodriguez's amazing start last season had him at only 41 RBI at this point.

Texas manager Ron Washington and starting DH Milton Bradley were not around for the Rangers scoring, they were both ejected in the second inning for arguing balls and strikes with home plate umpire, Jeff Nelson.

Texas looks to split the series with the Twins today at 1:10 CST, as Vicente Padilla goes up against Livan Hernandez.