05/29/10 9:37 PM ET
Offenses looking to heat up in finale
It's hard to keep a good offense down, and while the Twins showed that Saturday they'd be well advised to keep a close eye on the offense across the field in Sunday's finale.
Going into Saturday's game, the Twins had been held to two runs or fewer in six of their previous 10 games, but a six-run outburst in the seventh inning pushed them to a second straight home victory over the Rangers.
"A huge inning for us there and a nice win for us," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said.
Meanwhile, with the A's taking the lead in the American League West standings, the Rangers would like to see some of their strong May offense return after two quiet games at Target Field. The Rangers have batted .289 as a team in May, but have scored four runs in the first two games of this series.
On Sunday, the task of taking on potentially potent offenses falls to Rangers second-year left-hander Derek Holland and Twins veteran right-hander Scott Baker.
Holland is making his fourth start of the season seven days after his most recent one, but three days after his first relief appearance of the year. Baker, meanwhile, went 2-0 with a 3.45 ERA vs. Texas last year and hasn't won in three starts since tossing a season-high eight innings on April 28 vs. Baltimore.
Rangers: Washington faces utility crush
Getting utility infielders Andres Blanco and Joaquin Arias playing time lately has been a challenge for manager Ron Washington, but the Rangers aren't inclined to try to send either to the Minors to bring up an extra outfielder they could use because both Blanco and Arias are out of options. Blanco has not played in 11 straight games while Arias has appeared in just three of 12 games since coming off the disabled list. Washington said there are no plans to get Blanco in the lineup anytime soon. The Rangers are in a stretch where they have three days off in an eight-day period and Washington doesn't see any of his infielders needing a day off. "I'm not going to give [Ian Kinsler and Elvis Andrus] a day off so Andres can play," Washington said. "We're trying to win ballgames. We've got to go with the best we've got."
Twins: Staff pitching well at home
The Twins' pitching staff has been solid over the course of the homestand so far. In the first five games, the starters have posted a 2.71 ERA, including just three earned runs allowed in 14 2/3 innings by Kevin Slowey and Carl Pavano thus far this series vs. the Rangers. The club's record is 3-2 on the homestand. ... The Twins went into Saturday's game as the only club in baseball that had yet to register an error at either third base or shortstop, but shortstop J.J. Hardy committed his first error of the season Saturday.
The Twins surpassed one million fans in paid attendance Saturday, the showing thus far at Target Field marking the earliest the club had reached the one-million mark. The previous earliest was June 13, 1988 -- following a World Series title. That was the 31st home game of 1988; Saturday's was the 26th home game of the 2010 season.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.