Rangers Fall Short, Give Up Big 7th Inning

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
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    MINNEAPOLIS, MN - APRIL 12: Delmon Young #21 and Jason Kubel #16 of the Minnesota Twins celebrate after Kubel hit the first home run at Target Field in the seventh inning against the Boston Red Sox during the Twins home opener at Target Field on April 12, 2010 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien /Getty Images)

    With the game tied at 2, the Minnesota Twins loaded the bases with nobody out in the seventh inning.

    Dream scenario, right?

    Not for the Twins, who were hitting a measly .167 with the bags packed this season and seemed to be gripping the bat a little too tight and swinging a little too hard in those situations.

    Then Delmon Young finally delivered with a two-run double and the Twins scored six times in the seventh inning to beat the Texas Rangers 8-3 Saturday.

    "I've seen some games where we had the bases loaded four or five times and don't get a run in," said Orlando Hudson, who had a double, a homer and three RBIs. "It's one of those things. Delmon had a quality at-bat and there it is. Ballgame."

    With Young's double serving as one big sigh of relief for the Twins, J.J. Hardy followed with a two-run single and the Twins sent 11 men to the plate in the inning to build an 8-2 lead.

    Carl Pavano (5-5) allowed two runs on seven hits in seven innings for Minnesota.

    An announced crowd of 39,659, the largest crowd in Target Field's 26-game history, put the Twins over the 1 million mark already this season. It's the fastest they've reached the plateau in club history, surpassing the 31 games it took in 1988.

    C.J. Wilson (3-3) allowed only one hit in the first five innings before running into trouble in the sixth.

    Wilson retired 17 of the first 18 batters he faced with an impressive mix of the 94 mph fastballs and hard sliders that made him a closer earlier in his career and a few tricky off-speed pitches that convinced the Rangers his future is as a starter.

    The Rangers took a 2-0 lead in the fifth on Julio Borbon's single. But inning-ending double plays in the first three innings, the last when right fielder Jason Kubel threw the speedy Borbon out at the plate on a tag up, prevented Texas from doing more damage against Pavano.

    "Today is more frustrating because I had control of the game," Wilson said. "The team gave me the lead and I didn't hold it. That's your only job as a starting pitcher is to provide innings and hold leads, so I'm just upset about that."

    The Twins got to him with two outs in the sixth, getting a single from Denard Span before Hudson hit his third homer of the season into the left-field seats to tie it at 2.

    "I think as a group, our biggest downfall is getting two outs and can't get that third one," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "I feel like we're giving up too many runs with two outs. We've got to check that. When you get two outs, you've got to put them away."

    Perhaps a little deflated, Wilson walked Justin Morneau to lead off the seventh, gave up a double to Michael Cuddyer and then walked Jason Kubel to exit with the bases loaded and nobody out.

    It's a situation that has paralyzed the Twins this season. They came into the game with 66 at-bats with the bases loaded, the most in the major leagues, but managed only 11 hits.

    "I'd rather have more problems with the bases loaded than never get bases loaded," Young said.

    Hudson and Morneau added RBIs in the inning to give the Twins their third win in a row.

    "It was a nice comeback against a guy that was really chewing us up," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said.

    Pavano, who entered the game getting a staff-low 3.55 runs of support per game, kept the powerful Rangers in check.

    Borbon had two hits and two RBIs for Texas, but Michael Young, Ian Kinsler, Vladimir Guerrero and Josh Hamilton went a combined 2 for 16.

    Perhaps they were thrown off by Pavano, who was rocking a newly grown mustache straight out of an episode of "Miami Vice."

    "It's terrible," Hudson said with a chuckle. "There's no way his lady can think that looks good."

    NOTES: Umpires reviewed, and upheld, a call by Paul Nauert in the third inning that ruled Young's fly ball down the RF line went just foul and was not a home run. ... Michael Young's double in the eighth was the 322nd of his career, moving him past Rafael Palmeiro for second on the Rangers' career list. ... Hardy committed the first error by a Twins SS this season and Kubel had a throwing error in the first two-error game for the Twins this year.