Twins hand Rangers fifth straight loss, 5-1

Associated Press Modified: July 6, 2012 at 10:32 pm •  Published: July 6, 2012
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ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau drove in two runs each, Francisco Liriano pitched around six walks and the Minnesota Twins handed the Texas Rangers their season-high fifth straight loss with a 5-1 win Friday night.

Liriano (3-7) allowed five hits and one run with six strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings, and the Rangers scored two runs or fewer for the fourth time in five games.

The Twins touched Rangers rookie left-hander Martin Perez (1-1) for four runs in first four innings, but two were unearned after first baseman Mike Napoli misplayed a popup.

Rangers slugger Josh Hamilton left the game with back spasms soon after misplaying Brian Dozier's fly ball for a three-base error and making a long throw from the warning track in the fifth inning.

Mauer drove in his two runs on a single that scored the only earned run in a three-run third and a sacrifice fly in the fourth.

Justin Morneau had an RBI single in the third and hit his 11th home run on a line drive into the right-field seats off Tanner Scheppers in the seventh.

The Rangers had their best chance in the sixth when Adrian Beltre singled, Michael Young walked and Nelson Cruz drove in Beltre with a single. With no outs, Napoli deepened his slump by hitting into a double play, and the threat ended with one of three strikeouts by Yorvit Torrealba.

The absence of Hamilton showed in the seventh when Liriano walked Ian Kinsler and Elvis Andrus back-to-back, bringing up Hamilton's replacement, rookie Leonys Martin. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire stuck with Liriano for one more batter, and the lefty struck out right-handed pinch-hitter Brandon Snyder.

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