Sano, Pelfrey guide Twins past Rangers

MINNEAPOLIS -- After a stirring comeback win on Tuesday, the Minnesota Twins kept their foot on the gas Wednesday night against the Texas Rangers and rolled to an 11-1 victory at Target Field.

Miguel Sano watches his home run
Minnesota Twins designated hitter Miguel Sano watches his home run leave the park in the fourth inning Wednesday against the Texas Rangers at Target Field in Minneapolis. (Jesse Johnson-USA Today Sports)

MINNEAPOLIS - After a stirring comeback win on Tuesday, the Minnesota Twins kept their foot on the gas Wednesday night against the Texas Rangers and rolled to an 11-1 victory at Target Field.
The Twins were assured of at least a series win and will go for a three-game sweep this afternoon. It was the first series win for the Twins since they took three of four from the Detroit Tigers on July 9-12.
Twins designated hitter Miguel Sano cracked two homers and drove in six runs, and center fielder Aaron Hicks tied a career high with four hits as Minnesota pounded out 18 hits.
The offensive outburst overshadowed a fantastic night on the mound for Minnesota starter Mike Pelfrey. The veteran right-hander allowed one run, four hits and a walk in seven innings, picking up his first win since June 6 against Milwaukee.
It also represented a nice bounce-back effort for Pelfrey, who allowed seven runs and 10 hits in
3 2/3 innings against Cleveland his last time out on Friday.
The win moved Minnesota to within two games of the Los Angeles Angels for the second wild-card spot in the American League and 1 1½ games clear of the Rangers, who have lost three straight and four of five overall.
Torii Hunter was the only starter in the Twins’ lineup without a hit. Second baseman Brian Dozier had two doubles. Left fielder Eddie Rosario, third baseman Trevor Plouffe and shortstop Eduardo Nunez also had two-hit nights for Minnesota.
Texas mustered just five hits, getting its lone run on an RBI single by first baseman Prince Fielder in the sixth inning. The Rangers’ Nos. 5-9 hitters combined to go 0-for-16.
The Twins scored on Hicks’ solo homer to lead off the game. It was Hicks’ seventh home run of the season and first career leadoff blast. It was the Twins’ seventh leadoff homer of the season and first by someone other than Brian Dozier.
Minnesota extended that lead in the third and blew the game open in the fourth and fifth, posting a three-run fourth before a four-run fifth.
Hicks led off the third with a single and Dozier followed with a double to the left-field corner. First baseman Joe Mauer grounded out to short, but Hicks scored on the play to make it 2-0.
Sano followed with his first homer of the night, which traveled 437 feet to left-center field, giving the Twins a four-run lead.
Hicks singled again in the fourth and Mauer reached on a two-out error by Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus, bringing Sano to the plate. He followed with a massive blast into the third deck in left field and a 7-0 lead.
For Sano, it was his first career multi-homer game.
Plouffe followed with a single, ending Martinez’s ugly night: seven runs (four earned) and 11 hits in just 3 2/3 innings.
In the fifth, the Twins used a leadoff single from Rosario and four consecutive one-out hits to add to their lead. Hicks’ fourth hit scored one run, Dozier doubled in another to make it 9-0 and Mauer reached on an infield single for Minnesota’s 10th run.
Sano followed with a sacrifice fly to right field, his sixth RBI of the game, tying a Twins rookie record. His six RBIs also set a team season high.
The Rangers will call up RHP Chi Chi Gonzalez to start in place of LHP Cole Hamels today. Gonzalez is 2-4 with a 3.74 ERA in seven starts this season. Minnesota will counter with Ervin Santana (2-2, 3.89).
Rangers OF Josh Hamilton was a late scratch from the lineup with left knee soreness. OF Ryan Strausborger took his place in left field and batted ninth.
Twins INF Eduardo Nunez started at shortstop Wednesday. It was his first start since Aug. 4.

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