ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Joe Mauer and Michael Cuddyer homered to back a solid start by Brian Duensing for the Minnesota Twins in a 7-2 victory over the AL West-leading Texas Rangers on Wednesday night.
Duensing (8-8) rebounded from one of his worst starts of the season to limit Texas to one run over 6 2-3 innings. Texas scored 28 runs in the first two games of the series.
Colby Lewis (10-8) had won five consecutive decisions over seven starts. The right-hander has allowed an AL-high 26 homers after the solo shots by Mauer and Cuddyer.
Mauer’s two-out homer in the first inning was his first in 54 games, dating to September. He spent two months on the disabled list this season. Cuddyer led off the fourth with his 15th homer.
In the fifth, Mauer and Cuddyer had consecutive RBI singles to put the Twins up 4-1.
Alexi Casilla had a two-out double, then scored on the single by Mauer, who advanced to second on left fielder Josh Hamilton’s throw to the plate. Cuddyer then singled to center.
Duensing struck out six and walked one while scattering seven hits. In his previous start, Friday against Detroit, the left-hander matched a season-high allowing seven runs to end his personal three-game winning streak.
After giving up consecutive two-out singles to the bottom two batters in the lineup in the fifth, Duensing got out of that jam when Ian Kinsler took a called third strike.
Kinsler slammed his helmet down on the plate and had words with umpire Chris Guccione, drawing manager Ron Washington out of dugout as well. There were no ejections.
Lewis had his career-best winning streak ended after giving up four runs and eight hits over 6 2-3 innings. He struck out five and walked two in his first loss since June 11.
Elvis Andrus had a leadoff double in the fourth for Texas and scored on a groundout by Michael Young.
After leading off the sixth with a single, Andrus moved to second on a deep flyball to center by Hamilton. But with Young at the plate, Andrus was thrown out trying to steal third base when catcher Mauer’s throw beat him by several feet. Young then singled.
Joe Nathan was warming up in the Twins bullpen during the ninth in anticipation of what could have been his team-record 255th career save when Jason Kubel hit a three-run double that made it 7-1. Nathan, who tied Rich Aguilera for first place on the team list with his save Tuesday night, sat down almost as quickly as the bases cleared.
Notes: Minnesota has won five of seven against the Rangers this season. They wrap up the season series Thursday night. … Twins 1B Justin Morneau bypassed rehab activities in Minnesota because he was still experiencing migraine headaches. Morneau, on the 15-day DL with a sprained right wrist, had cut short a workout Tuesday because of the headaches and is being monitored by team medical personnel. … The Twins and Yankees are the only AL teams Lewis hasn’t beaten in the regular season. Lewis did win twice against New York in last year’s AL championship series. … Washington was still finishing up his duties as the AL All-Star manager. On a table in his office were 16 dozen baseballs MLB sent him to sign. The balls were already signed by the rest of the All-Stars in Arizona two weeks ago. … The Rangers went over 2 million in attendance in their 55th home game.