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Mauer’s double caps Twins’ comeback over Rangers

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Ron Gardenhire’s pregame message to his team Tuesday was to wipe the slate clean from the previous night’s embarrassing loss to the Texas Rangers.

The Minnesota Twins paid attention to their veteran manager.

Joe Mauer drove in the go-ahead run with a pinch-hit double off closer Neftali Feliz in a two-run ninth and the Twins rallied for a 9-8 victory over the Rangers.

Minnesota bounced back from Monday night’s 20-6 rout when Texas scored the most runs in the majors this season.

“You forget what happened the night before,” Gardenhire said. “The guys came in very professional … and were up for the game. We scored some runs early and we were into the game the whole way.”

The Twins trailed 8-7 when they put runners on second and third off Feliz (0-2) on Delmon Young’s single and Jim Thome’s pinch-double.

Tsuyoshi Nishioka hit a grounder to shortstop Elvis Andrus, who fumbled the ball for an error as Young scored to tie it.

Mauer, getting a game off on a 101-degree night and hitless in his previous eight at-bats, lashed a double to left to score pinch-runner Jason Repko and put the Twins in front.

Gardenhire took advantage of Mauer and Thome coming off the bench with the game on the line.

“Big at-bats by two of our big hitters, and we needed them,” Gardenhire said. “We needed this win desperately.”

Glen Perkins (3-1) worked a scoreless eighth for the win and Joe Nathan pitched the ninth for his eighth save in 11 chances.

Nathan allowed two baserunners with one out, but recovered to strike out Mitch Moreland and pinch-hitter David Murphy to record his 254th save with the Twins, tying him with Rick Aguilera for the club record.

“For me, it’s just an honor to be mentioned with a guy like Rick Aguilera,” said Nathan, who nonetheless seemed more pumped about the team win than a personal milestone.

“I think that’s the biggest show of character from this team, we get our brains beat in last night and fall down 7-3 tonight and not give up, I think that’s one thing we’ve proven this year,” Nathan said.

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Posted by on Jul 27 2011. Filed under Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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