ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — The Minnesota Twins haven’t figured out how to slow down Adrian Beltre.
They also couldn’t get anything going against Texas left-hander Matt Harrison.
Beltre hit for the cycle and Harrison pitched eight innings after taking a no-hit bid into the seventh Friday night in the Rangers’ 8-0 victory.
“Pretty much dominated by the young left-hander over there, he pretty much ate us up,” manager Ron Gardenhire said. “We were pretty much a non-factor in the game today. They pretty much dominated.”
Minnesota didn’t get a hit until Trevor Plouffe lined a single to left off Harrison (15-7) with two outs in the seventh. Jamey Carroll followed with another hit before Alexi Casilla had an inning-ending comebacker.
“He had good run on his fastball, throwing a pretty good changeup,” Carroll said. “He works real fast and you never get settled in in there. He’s throwing strikes, hitting both sides of the plate, and we couldn’t really find anything to get its way through until (the seventh).”
The Twins (51-74), who have the AL’s worst record, are 1-7 on their 10-game trip that wraps up with two more games against the AL West-leading Rangers this weekend.
Samuel Deduno (4-2) lost his second consecutive start after winning his first four major league decisions. The right-hander allowed seven runs and 11 hits over five innings.
Deduno’s throwing error contributed to the Rangers scoring five runs in the second for a 6-0 lead.
The solid single by Plouffe came right after left fielder David Murphy made a diving catch fully extended on Ryan Doumit’s sinking liner to keep the no-hit bid intact. Murphy had no chance to get to the next ball hit his way.
“That was an unbelievable play,” said Harrison, who pumped his fist when Murphy made the catch. “I guess I got a little too excited right there. I still feel like I made a pretty good pitch to (Plouffe).”
After shaking off catcher Luis Martinez calling for a fastball, Harrison threw a changeup. Plouffe got enough bat on the ball to knock it over the infield for the Twins’ first hit.
Beltre completed his second career cycle with a seventh-inning single. It came two nights after he hit three homers in a game against Baltimore.
After an RBI triple in the first inning against the Twins, his first three-base hit in two years, Beltre had an RBI double to cap the Rangers’ five-run second. Beltre led off the fifth with his 24th homer, his third consecutive game with a homer.
Over the past four games, Beltre is 12 of 18 with five homers, three doubles and a triple. He had three hits with a homer in the series opener against Minnesota on Thursday night.
The other cycle for Beltre also came at Rangers Ballpark, when he was playing for Seattle on Sept. 1, 2008. Ironically, he had three of his hits that night off Harrison.
Beltre knows it would have probably been impossible for a cycle off Harrison on this night.
“No chance,” he said. “Maybe one, one little blooper.”
Harrison allowed only two singles, his second consecutive start allowing only two hits in eight innings. The last Rangers pitcher to accomplish that was Jim Bibby in July 1973.
Harrison struck out five and walked two while throwing 118 pitches.
“A guy that was in control from the first pitch. He certainly commanded the strike zone, got a lot of quick outs,” manager Ron Washington said. “He was locked in.”
After walking the second batter of the game, Harrison didn’t allow another runner until he misplayed Ben Revere’s comebacker in the third and threw the ball away. That was the same inning third baseman Beltre fielded Casilla’s high chopper off the plate and threw him out on a close play at first.
Josh Hamilton singled and scored on Beltre’s triple in the first, when centerfielder Revere appeared to have the ball within his reach but was unable to come up with it as he ran hard toward the left-center wall. It was Beltre’s first triple since July 26, 2010.
Notes: Joe Mauer caught his 831st career game, matching Earl Battey for the most in Twins history. … It was the sixth cycle in Rangers history. The last was Bengie Molina’s on July 16, 2010, at Boston, which was also the last time an AL player hit for the cycle.
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