It Was So Bad, Cuddyer Pitched
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Ian Kinsler homered and drove in four runs as part of the Texas Rangers’ offensive barrage in a 20-6 rout of the Minnesota Twins on Monday night.
Kinsler had four of the Rangers’ league-best 27 hits. Mike Napoli and Nelson Cruz also had four hits as all the Rangers starters had at least two except for third baseman Chris Davis, who was hitless in six at-bats.
Michael Young also went deep and had three RBIs for Texas, which had 18 runs by the end of the fifth inning.
Things were so one-sided that Michael Cuddyer moved from right field to the mound to pitch the eighth for the Twins. Cuddyer gave up a double to Napoli, a bloop single to Mitch Moreland, and walked Kinsler with one out to load the bases.
But Cuddyer retired Elvis Andrus on a fly ball and David Murphy on a pop-up for a scoreless inning.
The last Twins position player to pitch was outfielder John Moses against California on July 31, 1990.
Derek Holland (9-4) easily won his career-high ninth game of the season, allowing an unearned run and five hits in six innings with four strikeouts to surpass his eight-win rookie season in 2009.
Josh Hamilton and Endy Chavez also drove in three runs each to help the Rangers surpass Cleveland’s output in a 19-1 blowout at Kansas City on May 16. Texas also passed the 25 hits that the Los Angeles Dodgers had against Minnesota on June 27.
Holland once again was the recipient of excellent run support, with the Rangers putting up 14 runs and 16 hits after only four innings against three pitchers.
Texas has scored at least four runs in each of Holland’s last 12 starts, with Holland going 6-3 with three no-decisions during that stretch.
AL West-leading Texas has won 15 of 18 to open a four-game pad over Los Angeles, which was beaten by Cleveland 3-2 on Monday night.
Jason Kubel hit a 449-foot homer off Arthur Rhodes in the eighth for the Twins, who’ve lost six of nine.
Minnesota starter Nick Blackburn (7-7) was knocked around for nine runs — six earned — and 11 hits in 2 2-3 innings.
The Rangers jumped to a 3-0 first-inning lead a day after they were limited to four singles by Toronto’s Brett Cecil in the Blue Jays’ 3-0 victory on Sunday night.
Andrus reached on an infield single and scored on Hamilton’s double. Young followed with his ninth homer into the right field seats on Blackburn’s 1-0 pitch.
In the second, RBI doubles by Kinsler and Hamilton and Young’s run-scoring single gave Holland a 6-0 pad, and Kinsler added a three-run blast in the third.
When Andrus followed with a single, Blackburn’s shortest outing of the season was over, matching the most runs he’s allowed in any of his 113 career starts.
Minnesota got on the board in the fourth with an unearned run aided by an error by Andrus at shortstop. After Alexi Casilla singled, Joe Mauer hit a sharp grounder that Holland gloved. Holland fired to second to start what appeared to be an easy double play, but the throw bounced off Andrus’ glove.
Casilla scored on Cuddyer’s double-play grounder, but the Rangers stretched their edge to 14-1 with a five-run fourth highlighted by Moreland’s two-run double.
Notes: The Rangers rotation has been remarkably healthy, one reason the team has surged into the lead in the AL West. Texas already has three 10-game winners in the rotation, and the Rangers have used only six starters this season, tied for fewest in the majors. “That (good health for the starters) is the key right there,” manager Ron Washington said. …CF and leadoff man Ben Revere wasn’t in the starting lineup after having played in 48 consecutive games since being recalled from Triple-A Rochester on June 2. Jason Repko made his fourth start in CF and hit leadoff for the first time in 2011. Revere was 7-for-47 (.149) during a four-game series against Detroit, dropping his batting average to .249. …The Rangers took batting practice in the indoor cages to avoid the 102-degree heat, but the Twins hit on the field, with the starters going first to get off the field as fast as possible.
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