Denard Span went 2-for-4 with an RBI, a double and two stolen bases on Thursday, his first game since Aug. 12. He missed nine straight after injuring his shoulder attempting to make a diving catch against Tampa Bay. Manager Ron Gardenhire wasn't expecting to be able to pencil Span back in his lineup, but he had no objections when Span said he was good to go. "It is wonderful," Gardenhire said. "After early batting practice, he went in and did some lifting and afterward said he was ready to play. So I changed the lineup and put him in there. I have no problem with that. That's what we would want." Matt Carson went 1-for-5 while starting in left field on Thursday as Josh Willingham was a late scratch from the lineup due to a stiff neck. Designated hitter Ryan Doumit hit in Willingham's normal cleanup spot. Gardenhire was ejected during the bottom of Thursday's third inning. The ejection came shortly after Scott Diamond was tossed for throwing behind Josh Hamilton. That followed Roy Oswalt's pitch hitting Joe Mauer in the top of the inning. Rangers: Bullpen's scoreless streak snapped
The Texas bullpen's scoreless-innings streak was halted at 18 on Thursday as Minnesota scored two runs against Tanner Scheppers. However, both runs were unearned as they came on an Elvis Andrus throwing error. They were the first runs scored against a Rangers reliever since Aug. 16. "We're doing a great job," right-hander Mike Adams said. "The guys have been going out there and doing their job, one after another. I think, from a pitching standpoint, we've really hit our stride. August is usually a tough month for everybody, especially the pitchers, but the guys have done what they've needed to do to stay fresh and keep throwing zeros up." Michael Young left Thursday's game in the bottom of the fifth to be with his wife, Cristina, as she gave birth to the couple's third child. Mitch Moreland took over for Young at DH in the bottom of the sixth. Worth noting
Twins slugger Justin Morneau is hitting .323 with nine home runs and 28 RBIs in 28 career games at Rangers Ballpark. Texas extended its advantage in the all-time series to 251-249 with Thursday's win.