Baseball Report

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Everyone knows that the Texas Rangers can hit, and score a lot of runs. But Monday night was ridiculous.

The Rangers had the most hits, 27, and scored the most runs, 20, of the major league season so far, in a 20-6 blowout over the Minnesota Twins at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

Texas poured across 18 runs in the first five innings, becoming the third team ever to score at least three runs in each of the opening five frames.

“The first five innings looked like a ZIP code, that will tell you how it went,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said.

The Rangers were so dominating that every starter had at least two hits. Nelson Cruz and Mike Napoli had a career-high tying four hits each. Ian Kinsler had a home run and drove in four runs. Josh Hamilton, Michael Young and Endy Chavez had three RBIs each.

Texas set a team record with seven players getting three hits. Only Chris Davis went hitless among the starters, going 0-for-6.

“We came out with a lot of energy, but you never expect to come out like this,” said Young, who slugged a two-run homer in the first inning for a 3-0 lead. “We caught some breaks. We’ve all been on the other end when you play games like this.”

Hamilton’s run-scoring double in the second, one of eight two-baggers for the Rangers, made it 5-0. Kinsler’s three-run shot in the third put Texas up 9-0 and Elvis Andrus hit a two-run double in the fifth giving the Rangers an 18-1 advantage.

“Everything went right for us tonight,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said. “(Derek) Holland threw a heck of a game for six innings. We put some runs on the board and kept coming. Tonight we showed what we’re about.”

The Rangers, who recently won 12 in a row thanks to some outstanding pitching, were coming off a 3-0 loss to Toronto on Sunday. They took batting practice in indoor cages before Monday’s game to avoid the 102-degree heat while the Twins took BP on the field.

It wasn’t pretty for Minnesota, which also played sloppy defensively with three errors. The Twins also put Michael Cuddyer in to pitch the eighth, after he started the game at first base and moved to right field.

Cuddyer loaded the bases on a double, single and walk with one out before retiring the last two batters for a scoreless inning.

“Ugly night,” Gardenhire said. “Probably the worst I’ve ever had against me. We really need pitching right now and we got blasted away. I was scared to death using Cuddyer. That was his one goal in his career was to pitch.”

Cuddyer, who pitched in high school, has now played every position in the majors except catcher and shortstop.

“Obviously, the circumstances for me getting out there aren’t what you want,” Cuddyer said. “But I was excited. It was fun out there. I got to work through some trouble. I was just surprised I threw some strikes.”

StatsWatch: Here are some more notes from Monday’s game at Texas —

— Oakland, in a 19-5 rout over Texas in 1991, and Philadelphia, vs. Pittsburgh in 1900, were the only other teams to score at least three runs in each of the first five innings.

— This is the 14th consecutive season that a team has scored at least 20 runs in a major league game.

— The last team, before Texas, to be shut out in a game before scoring 20 runs was the Baltimore Orioles in 2000. There have been four teams that have done it since 1961.

— The Rangers had 22 hits in the first five innings against the Twins.

— Texas’s 27 hits were two shy of the club record of 29 set on Aug. 22, 2007 in a 30-3 win over the Orioles. The 30 runs set an AL and modern day record.

— The last Minnesota position player to pitch in a game before Monday was John Moses, on July 31, 1990 against California.

Diamond Notes: The Seattle Mariners lost their 16th straight game on Monday night. It was the longest losing streak in the majors since Kansas City dropped 19 straight in 2005…Los Angeles Dodgers starter Hiroki Kuroda would waive his no-trade clause if a trade to the New York Yankees or Boston Red Sox is on the table, according to an ESPN report. Kuroda is 6-12 with a 3.19 ERA this season, but the Dodgers are averaging less than three runs per game in his starts…President Barack Obama welcomed the defending World Series champion San Francisco Giants to the White House on Monday. Obama said that the Giants may be “a little different,” but “one thing they know is how to win.”…Carlos Beltran says he won’t block a trade to any of the five teams interested in him, but hopes to stay in the NL. The Braves, Phillies, Giants, Rangers and Red Sox are apparently pursuing the Mets right fielder.

Copyright © 2011 Bob Hurst. All Rights Reserved. Distributed by Hurst Sports Media.

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