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MIN@TEX: Torrealba belts a three-run shot to left

ARLINGTON -- Their No. 1 starter had a four-run lead and couldn't get a win. Their closer had a one-run lead in the ninth and couldn't get a save.

C.J. Wilson had his shortest outing of the season and closer Neftali Feliz suffered his fifth blown save when the Twins rallied with two runs in the top of the ninth for a 9-8 victory on Tuesday night at the Ballpark in Arlington.

"It's hard," catcher Yorvit Torrealba said after his three-hit, four-RBI game. "If you want to be in the playoffs, we need to be able to finish those games like this and be able to win it. Today we weren't able to do it, obviously, but it's going to get better."

The loss, one night after they'd pounded out a 20-6 victory, left them with a three-game lead over the Angels in the American League West. The Angels had blown a game in the ninth inning on Monday night against the Indians when All-Star closer Jordan Walden couldn't hold a one-run lead. Now it was Feliz's turn.

"They strung some good at-bats when they needed to and had some good at-bats in the ninth against our closer," designated hitter Michael Young said. "Any time we get into the ninth inning with our closer, we feel good about our chances. Hopefully we'll get in the same spot tomorrow."

Five blown saves is two more than Feliz had all last year. He has struck out 6.2 batters per nine innings and allowed opponents to hit .216. Last season he struck out 9.2 batters per nine innings while opponents hit .176.

"The first thing is, I still have to keep my head up," Feliz said. "Things haven't been right at times this season, and the results aren't always what I want, but I still have to do my best."

As for Wilson, five days after his two-hit complete game against the Angels, he endured a bizarre night against the Twins. He gave up three runs in the second when the Twins kept pounding ground balls to the left side. There was one double down the line, two infield hits and a couple of singles to left.

That gave the Twins a three-run lead, but the Rangers rallied against Minnesota starter Carl Pavano. They scored two in the second and five more in the fourth, when Torrealba hit a three-run homer. It was his first home run since April 25, and it helped give the Rangers a four-run lead.

"I was impressed with how we shut the Rangers down," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said, with a touch of sarcasm. "We kept them under 10 today. That's a good performance by our pitching staff."

But Wilson couldn't get an out in the fifth. He walked the first three batters he faced, then gave up a two-run single to left to Danny Valencia. That's when manager Ron Washington came to get him.

"Just 100 percent unlucky," Wilson said. "Infield hits ... bloopers and bleeders. Last night everything went our way, tonight ... Totally different. As a starting pitcher, you're going to cough up an egg."

The walks were a little surprising. Wilson led the AL in walks last season but had cut that down significantly this season to 2.81 per nine innings before Tuesday.

"He just couldn't find the strike zone in the fifth," Washington said. "Three walks and a base hit, and it didn't look like it was going to get better."

Wilson left with the Twins trailing, 7-5. Because of the work of relievers Tommy Hunter, Yoshinori Tateyama and Darren Oliver, the Rangers were able to stay ahead, and they handed a one-run lead to Feliz in the ninth.

"We had the ball in the hands of the guy we wanted to have it," Washington said. "We just didn't get it done."

Feliz started the ninth by getting Valencia to ground out to shortstop. But Delmon Young singled to center, and Gardenhire sent Jim Thome to pinch-hit for Trevor Plouffe.

Thome launched a fly ball to deep left, and Josh Hamilton went back to the wall. He jumped, but the ball went for a double, moving Young to third.

"The pitch he hit was still a good pitch to hit," Feliz said. "It wasn't low, but it wasn't high, and he was able to get it."

The Rangers moved the infield in for Tsuyoshi Nishioka, who hit a high chopper over the mound. Shortstop Elvis Andrus charged, caught the ball and looked at home for a play that would have been tough. Then he dropped the ball for error, and everybody was safe.

"I was trying to go home and get the out," Andrus said. "It was risky, but I wanted to take the chance, especially in that situation."

Joe Mauer, who did not start for the Twins with Wilson on the mound, pinch-hit for catcher Drew Butera and lined a double to left to send home the go-ahead run. Mark Lowe then took over for Feliz and recorded the final two outs of the inning.

"I think he was overthrowing it a little bit to a few guys," Torrealba said. "Then he would get behind in the count and then he had to throw the fastball. They were going to hit it." Comments