ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Carlos Correa and Max Kepler had RBI singles in the 10th inning, Minnesota leadoff hitter Donovan Solano matched a career high with four hits and the AL Central-leading Twins beat the still-sliding Texas Rangers 9-7 on Saturday night.
Correa and Kepler got their hits off hard-throwing reliever Aroldis Chapman (5-4), who got the last two outs of the ninth before coming back out for the extra inning. Ryan Jeffers added a sacrifice fly, his second RBI of the game, after Chapman was gone.
Brent Headrick (3-0), the eighth Twins pitcher, tossed a perfect ninth. Jhoan Duran finished it for his 24th save in 29 chances, working around an RBI single by Robbie Grossman in the 10th.
Solano had a solo homer and a two-run single when the Twins, after being behind 4-0, went ahead 6-4. He was then playing second base in the eighth when he had a tremendous running catch in short right with his back to the infield, preventing another run right after Texas had tied the game.
Adolis Garcia and Sam Huff hit early two-run homers for the Rangers (75-60), who lost for the 12th time in 15 games overall, including their last six at home. That stretch dropped them out of the AL West lead, now two games behind first-place Seattle and still a game behind Houston after the Astros also lost at home. Texas is just ahead of Toronto for the American League’s final wildcard spot.
The Twins (71-65) maintained their five-game division lead since Cleveland beat Tampa Bay.
Solano’s third hit was his two-out single to left in the fourth that capped a five-run outburst and chased Rangers trade deadline acquisition Jordan Montgomery.
Each of the last five batters in Minnesota’s lineup reached with two outs in that fourth inning, with No. 9 hitter Michael A. Taylor’s two-run double turning the order over to Solano after he had homered the previous inning.
The Rangers got even at 6 in the eighth on a sacrifice fly by Robbie Grossman after Emilo Pagan, the seventh Minnesota pitcher, walked the first three batters he faced to load the bases.
Montgomery, acquired from the St. Louis Cardinals on July 30, had been 2-1 with a 2.30 ERA in his first starts for the Rangers. He allowed six runs and seven hits over 3 2/3 innings against the Twins.
The Rangers scored five runs in 3 1/3 innings off Dallas Keuchel, the 2015 AL Cy Young Award winner making his fourth start (fifth appearance) this season for Minnesota. That included five scoreless innings against the Rangers last Sunday.
Twins: CF Taylor left the game with right hamstring tightness. He had a two-run double in the top of the fourth, but was replaced in the field in the bottom of the inning.
Rangers: The team will monitor RHP Max Scherzer and see how he feels after his next bullpen. The three-time Cy Young Award winner departed after 88 pitches over six scoreless innings Friday night. “It’s more of a fatigue thing,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “Right now, the plan is for him to make his (next) start, but we’ll be smart about it.”
Rangers right-hander Jon Gray (8-7, 3.79 ERA) is scheduled to make his 200th career start in the series finale Sunday. RHP Kenta Maeda (3-7, 4.69) has allowed a homer in each of his last eight starts for the Twins.