Twins enter break thunderstruck
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- The Minnesota Twins are going into the All-Star break a little thunderstruck.
Ian Kinsler lined a game-winning single in the 13th inning for the AL West-leading Texas Rangers, giving them a 4-3 victory Sunday night after they had scored three unearned runs in the ninth.
"A disappointing loss for us," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said.
Along with extra innings in the last game before the All-Star break, there was a 46-minute delay in the fourth inning that started with a lightning bolt and a loud clap of thunder.
Minnesota had padded a 1-0 lead in the top of the ninth with two unearned runs off All-Star closer Joe Nathan, whose throwing error against his former team led to a run before Denard Span hit a sacrifice fly.
Then Kinsler, one of eight Rangers going to the All-Star game, led off the ninth reaching on a two-base throwing error before Glen Perkins threw a wild pitch. Elvis Andrus then had an RBI groundout before slugger Josh Hamilton popped out to third base.
But the Rangers, who had only four hits to that point, then had four consecutive two-out hits. That included Michael Young's two-run single that tied the game at 3.
"We had two outs and no-body on and a two-run lead, I just had to get one out and I didn't get the out," Perkins said. "They're a good-hitting team. I broke (Adrian) Bel-tre's bat, he got it in there. (Nelson) Cruz had a good at-bat against me, I left a pitch up and he hit it hard the oth-er way and then Young, I had an opportunity to throw him a two-strike slider and it just goes back to me not being able to put guys away."
After a season-worst five-game losing streak, the Ran-gers have won consecutive games 4-3 in extra innings.
"It was huge," manager Ron Washington said. "We certainly needed to continue to move forward off of (Sat-urday). ... We just kept bat-tling and in the ninth inning, I think we showed the cha-racter that we have in that clubhouse. We didn't quit."
Young led off the 13th against Alex Burnett (2-2) with a double into the right-field corner. He was forced out at home on Craig Gen-try's grounder to shortstop Brian Dozier, whose error in the ninth set up Texas for a tying rally.
But the bases were still loaded for Kinsler.
After Young's double, Mur-phy had been intentionally walked before Mike Napoli reached on an infield single before Gentry's grounder.
"A lot of really good things happened there," Gardenhire said. "Unfortunately, we just couldn't nail it down, we couldn't finish it off."
After the bright flash and thunder when Rangers starter Roy Oswalt was pre-paring to throw a pitch in the fourth, catcher Napoli and Minnesota batter Ryan Doumit quickly scrambled to their respective dugouts. Baserunner Josh Willingham dropped to his knees near first base and the game was immediately stopped, about 10 minutes before the rain began.
Rangers officials said the lightning struck north of sta-dium and didn't hit the facili-ty. There were no reports of damage or any injuries.
"My heart stopped when I heard the thunder at the stadium. Glad no one heard me scream like a little girl too!! Lol," Twins right fielder Ben Revere tweeted during the ensuing delay.
"Never heard anything like that, scared everybody who saw it," Gardenhire said. "That was loud, the loudest I've ever heard. Right in the middle of it, that's pretty amazing stuff."
Scott Feldman (3-6), the eighth Rangers pitcher, worked the last two innings.
Twins rookie Cole De Vries pitched seven scoreless in-nings. The right-hander struck out five while allowing three singles, two of them to Kinsler.
The other All-Stars on the majors' top-hitting team -- Elvis Andrus, Josh Hamilton, Beltre and Napoli -- were a combined 0 for 9 with three strikeouts, a walk and a sa-crifice bunt against De Vries.
"Cole de Vries was unbe-lievable, throws two innings four days ago and comes in the way he did," Gardenhire said. "That's pretty spectacular for a young man throwing the ball the way he did."
Notes: The game lasted 4 hours, 32 minutes, not including the 46-minute delay. ... Texas hadn't won extra-inning games on consecutive days since 1994. ... A U.S. Army soldier in uniform and wearing a glove caught a foul ball in the first row of seats down the right-field line in the second inning. Young, who ran after the ball out of his reach, was smiling after a congratulato-ry tap with his first baseman's mitt on the soldier's chest.