MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Cole Hamels was knocked out in the fifth inning of his shortest start this season and lost for the first time since May 27 as the last-place Minnesota Twins beat the first-place Texas Rangers for the second consecutive day, 5-4 on Sunday.
Brian Dozier drove in two runs and scored a pair to back Kyle Gibson (2-5), who won his second straight start after going winless in his first seven.
Hamels (9-2) allowed five runs and 10 hits while walking three, leaving after walking his first two batters in the fifth. Hamels had won a Rangers record nine consecutive road decisions.
Gibson gave up four runs — two earned — and five hits in 6 2/3 innings with six strikeouts. Brandon Kintzler pitched around Robinson Chirinos’ two-out double in the ninth for his fourth save in as many chances, retiring Shin-Soo Choo on a game-ending groundout.
Choo drove in three runs. He led off a game with a home run for the third time this year, a drive into the left-center seats. Gibson then retired eight straight batters — he a stretch he repeated later in the game.
Dozier hit a two-run triple in the third and scored on Robbie Grossman’s single for a 3-1 lead.
Elvis Andrus singled in a run in the fifth, but the Twins opened a 5-2 lead in the bottom half when Max Kepler singled in a run and Eddie Rosario hit into a run-scoring forceout against Tony Barnette.
Choo hit a two-run double in the seventh off Ryan Pressley.
Rangers: RHP Colby Lewis (right latissimus dorsi) was transferred to the 60-day DL to make room for newly promoted Michael Roth.
Twins: 3B Trevor Plouffe was scratched before the game with sore ribs. … INF Eduardo Escobar is day to day with a hamstring injury. General manager Terry Ryan said he isn’t expecting a DL stint. … Trevor May, who hasn’t played since June 9 because of back spasms, was back in the clubhouse. Manager Paul Molitor said May wasn’t activated Sunday because he was coming off pitching in back-to-back games in his minor league rehab assignment.
Rangers: Nick Martinez (1-1) is to make his fourth start this season when the Rangers travel to Boston to open a three-game series against the Red Sox. Martinez has not had a decision in his three previous starts.
Twins: Minnesota opens a three-game set against Oakland, with Ricky Nolasco (3-6) set to make his team-leading 17th start. Nolasco is 2-0 with a 3.00 ERA in three career starts against the Athletics.