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08/23/10 11:47 PM ET

Each victory means more for Rangers, Twins

Talk about an opening act.

The American League West-leading Rangers came this close to no-hitting the Twins in the first game of the series Monday and walked off the field with a 4-0 win.

A no-hitter would have been nice, but at this point of the season, any sort of victory is just as sweet.

The Twins, who lead the White Sox by 4 1/2 games in the AL Central, would certainly agree. The Rangers, who are flirting with a 10-game lead in their division, also know it's true.

So don't expect perfection from Minnesota starter Carl Pavano or Texas hurler Colby Lewis on Tuesday. Don't even think about seeing a no-hitter, because they still rank among the rarest of feats.

But definitely look for two starters and two teams playing at a high level until the final out. Their postseason futures are riding on it.

Right, Pavano?

In his previous start on Thursday, Pavano had his worst outing of the season Thursday against the White Sox. He gave up seven runs on a career-high 15 hits, which also tied a club record. He pitched six innings and struck out three.

"I think you just got to play good baseball from here on out, that's the bottom line," Pavano said. "The finish line is still a ways away, and we have to worry about tomorrow and not even worry about the finish line right now."

Lewis is making his seventh bid at win No. 10, which would match a career high he set as a rookie in 2003. In his past start, Lewis yielded four runs on nine hits in 6 2/3 innings against Baltimore, the sixth consecutive time he's gone at least six innings.

"Sometimes you get pitchers who go out there and they don't have the luxury of getting runs, and just lately, Colby has been that guy," said Texas manager Ron Washington. "We just haven't been able to put runs on the board for him. He battles and we battle, and the time is going to come when we're going to pick him up."

Twins: Mahay's campaign could be done
Ron Mahay's season could be over after an MRI exam on Monday revealed a torn rotator cuff in his non-throwing right shoulder. ... An MRI on Kevin Slowey revealed a mild stain of his right triceps muscle. ... Orlando Hudson's triple Sunday night was the 30th of the season for the Twins, the most triples by any AL team this season. ... The Twins were one-hit for the 24th time in club history on Monday.

Rangers: Young, Andrus swinging hot bats
Michael Young has six RBIs over his past five home games. ... Elvis Andrus has hit safely in 13 consecutive contests and is hitting .316 during that stretch. ... The Rangers lead the Major Leagues with 137 infield hits this season.

Worth noting
The first-inning triple by Texas outfielder David Murphy was reviewed and upheld by MLB's instant replay system when video showed that the ball hit the top of the wall in center field and bounced back into the field of play. It marked the fifth time instant replay has been used at Rangers Ballpark since July 2009 -- the second time this season. All instances have involved Texas hitters.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.