ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Ervin Santana delivered his fourth straight outstanding start, Miguel Sano sparked a seven-run fifth inning with a leadoff homer and the Minnesota Twins pounded the Texas Rangers 8-1 on Tuesday night.
Santana (4-0) allowed a run, four hits and one walk with six strikeouts in seven innings. He went into the game leading major league starters in ERA (0.64) and opponents’ batting average (.099).
Santana’s standout performance came at a venue that had previously frustrated him. In 17 previous starts at Globe Life Park, he was 6-7 with a 6.93 ERA.
Kennys Vargas also homered for Minnesota, his first since being recalled from Triple-A Rochester last Sunday.
Both homers came off Andrew Cashner (0-2), who labored through his four-plus innings. He matched a career high with six walks, allowed five hits, had a wild pitch and threw 92 pitches.
Texas’ Joey Gallo hit a solo homer in the fifth, his team-leading seventh of the season and fifth in the last seven games.
Cashner was chased by Sano’s home run, his fifth of the season, on an 0-2 curve ball launched into the second deck down the left field line. It was the 21st homer hit in that area in Globe Life Park’s 24 seasons.
Sano also had two singles.
After Anthony Bass replaced Cashner, the next six Twins reached on three doubles, two singles and an infield error.
Cashner has pitched 15 1/3 innings this season, and Texas has yet to score for him. His three opposing starters all rank in the AL’s top eight in ERA.
Two Rangers baserunners were thrown out trying to advance on pitches that got away from Twins catcher Jason Castro. … Shin-Soo Choo led off for Texas for the first time this season after batting second in his previous 13 starts. … Eddie Rosario had two hits to extend his hitting streak to eight games, matching a career high.
Twins: LHP Ryan O’Rourke has a partially torn UCL and will have Tommy John surgery, general manager Thad Levine announced Tuesday. O’Rourke began the season on the 10-day disabled list with a strained forearm and was transferred to the 60-day DL on Monday.
Rangers: RHP A.J. Griffin (gout, left ankle) will throw a second bullpen session on Wednesday. If all goes well, Griffin will probably start Friday night vs. the Angels.
Twins: LHP Hector Santiago (2-1) has a string of three straight quality starts. He allowed three runs in 6 1/3 innings in beating Detroit 6-3 last Friday.
Rangers: LHP Cole Hamels (1-0) compiled season highs in innings (eight) and pitches (107) last time out, a 6-2 win over the Royals last Friday night.
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