ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — The Texas Rangers lost the game, and maybe another left fielder.
Delino DeShields Jr. left the Rangers’ 4-3 loss to the Minnesota Twins on Sunday in the top of the sixth inning with an injury to his left hamstring running in the outfield.
DeShields’ status was not immediately known, but he had been filling the void for Josh Hamilton, who rejoined the club in late May and is now out until at least late-June with a strained left hamstring.
“Obviously, he’s a speed guy, uses his legs,” Rangers manager Jeff Banister said of DeShields. “We’re going to be cautious and conservative.”
DeShields was also Texas’ leadoff hitter during the club’s recent successful run that has seen the Rangers move into second place in the American League West after losing 16 of their first 24 games.
DeShields’ replacement, Jake Smolinski, failed to execute a sacrifice bunt in the seventh inning with the Rangers trying to break a 3-3 tie. Minnesota’s one-run ninth began with a double by Eduardo Escobar that went over Smolinski’s head.
With two outs, Eddie Rosario doubled to center off Shawn Tolleson (1-1) to score Byron Buxton, the No. 2 overall draft choice in 2012 who made his major league debut Sunday.
Casey Fien (2-2) pitched two scoreless innings, and Glen Perkins tossed a perfect ninth for his league-leading 22nd save as the Twins snapped a five-game losing streak.
Joey Gallo and Leonys Martin hit solo home runs for Texas in the second inning. Gallo has four homers in 11 games since being brought up from Double-A Frisco.
Texas’ fifth inning ended when DeShields wandered off second base following a routine groundout to second base, and was tagged out when first baseman Joe Mauer fired to shortstop Escobar for the final out.
Rangers starter Nick Martinez pitched the team’s 10th consecutive quality start, matching the club record set in September 1978. That has been accomplished without injured starters Yu Darvish, Derek Holland, Martin Perez and Matt Harrison.
“We’re definitely proud about how we go about our business,” said Martinez, who went into Sunday’s game with the league’s eighth-best ERA at 2.65.
Twins outfielder Torii Hunter missed his second consecutive game while serving a two-game suspension for his altercation with umpire Mark Ripperger last Wednesday.
AREA 51 PHENOMENON
Phillip Rater, 14, of Sulphur Springs, Texas, caught Gallo’s home run ball while seated in the front row of Section 51 near the Rangers’ bullpen. Two batters later, he nearly caught the home run hit by Martin. “I was texting my friend because he has a huge man-crush on Gallo,” Rater said. “As soon as I saw it (Martin’s homer), it was 5 feet from my head.”
BAD NEWS FOR TOP PROSPECT
Jorge Alfaro, Texas’ catcher at Frisco, will likely miss the rest of the season. Surgery on his injured left ankle is scheduled for Wednesday. Alfaro, who turned 22 last Thursday, was hitting .253 with five home runs and 21 RBI in 49 games.
Twins: Buxton was added to the roster after OF Aaron Hicks (right forearm strain) was placed on the disabled list Sunday.
Rangers: 3B Adrian Beltre (left thumb sprain) is eligible to come off the disabled list Tuesday, but said he still can’t grip a bat.
Twins: RHP Trevor May (4-4) gave up only one run in six innings in his last outing, June 9 against Kansas City, but took the loss in a 2-0 defeat.
Rangers: RHP Yovani Gallardo (5-6), whose previous eight seasons were in the National League, has five consecutive quality starts against the Los Angeles Dodgers.