video thumbnail

TEX@MIN: Rhodes allows a walk-off single to Casilla

MINNEAPOLIS -- Another year and another loss for the Rangers at Target Field. The hometown team can't win here but neither can the Rangers.

"It stinks, huh?" outfielder Josh Hamilton said. "What is it, eight in a row? Something like that. I don't know. It seems like we're getting hits and our pitchers do well, but we lose in the ninth inning or extra innings. There's no rhyme or reason."

This time it was the bottom of the ninth. Alexi Casilla lined a single down the left-field line off reliever Arthur Rhodes with two out to give the Twins a 5-4 victory over the Rangers on Thursday night at Target Field.

The Rangers are now 0-7 at Target Field since it opened last year and have lost eight straight in Minnesota, going back to their last game at the Metrodome in 2009. The Twins were 6-15 at home this season before their walk-off win on Thursday.

"I heard some stuff happens here," Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre said. "It's unfortunate. We'll just have to come back [Friday] and win. They're playing good baseball, but we know we're good enough to beat them."

Some stuff happened on Thursday night and two calls had the Rangers grumbling afterwards. Beltre was upset with what happened in the ninth. Luke Hughes led off for the Twins with a grounder down the third-base line that Beltre thought went foul before it bounced over the bag. Third-base umpire Doug Eddings pointed fair and Hunter had a leadoff double against Rangers reliever Mark Lowe.

"It was foul," Beltre said. "I know for sure it was foul. I was playing on the line and my first step was toward the line ... the ball was to the right of me. How could it be fair? I was one step behind the bag ... the bounce was way before the bag. Clearly the replay showed it was foul."

Lowe then struck out pinch-hitter Brian Dinkelman, but walked Matt Tolbert, the Twins' No. 9 hitter. Manager Ron Washington brought in Rhodes to face Ben Revere and Casilla. He did so because Revere was a .200 hitter off lefties while Casilla, a switch-hitter, was hitting .216 off them. Rhodes retired Revere on a fly to left, but Casilla singled down the left-field line to end the game.

"I wanted a lefty on Revere and I wanted to keep Casilla on the right side," Washington said. "It wasn't like he was facing [Miguel] Cabrera."

"What can you say," Rhodes said. "It was a close game ... the thing to do is keep your head up and go get them tomorrow."

The Rangers were also not thrilled about a crucial play in the fifth inning. Hamilton's home run in the first off Twins starter Nick Blackburn and Delmon Young's homer off Derek Holland in the second made it a 1-1 game going into the bottom of the fifth.

Rene Rivera led off the inning with a double and then Tolbert hit a high chopper over Holland's head that was headed up the middle. Rivera thought about breaking for third and double-hesitated while shortstop Elvis Andrus slipped in behind him to field the ball.

Andrus fielded the ball at the bag. Rivera was off the bag. Andrus tagged Rivera and threw to first. But second base umpire Paul Nauert ruled Rivera safe and Andrus' throw to first was too late.

"His explanation was he saw his foot get back to the bag," Washington said. "His foot never got to the bag. At the end of the conversation, he admitted he might have missed it."

That left runners at first and second. Revere forced Rivera at third with an attempted sacrifice bunt and the Rangers just missed turning an inning-ending double play on Casilla's grounder. That left two on and Michael Cuddyer followed with a three-run home run to give the Twins a 4-1 lead.

That was the big blow of the night off Holland.

"He started me off with curveballs the first two at-bats, so he started me off a curveball again for the third time, and that one was a ball," Cuddyer said. "So, I thought he'd come back with another curveball, but it was a changeup, so I was sitting on the right speed and fortunately I didn't miss it."

Holland ended up going 7 1/3 innings, allowing four runs on eight hits and a walk. He tied a career high with 10 strikeouts.

"I feel bad about the outcome, but I feel good about the start," Holland said. "One walk ... I felt I attacked the zone and made pitches, just a couple of pitches got away from me."

The Rangers still came back. They took advantage of a couple Twins errors to score two in the sixth on an RBI single by Beltre and sacrifice fly by Mitch Moreland. That put the Rangers in position to tie the game in the eighth on a one-out home run by Nelson Cruz.

But that was the best they could do. Offensively, the Rangers were 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position and left 12 runners on base.

"We had some opportunities ... it would have been nice to go back and capitalize on it," Michael Young said. "They made some pitches when they had to. We'll go out and play hard tomorrow."

And maybe get their first win at Target Field in two years. Of course they were 0-6 in Minneapolis last year and still somehow found a way to overcome it.

"I don't care about that," Young said. "The games last year don't mean anything to me." Comments