08/25/10 12:17 AM ET
Duensing tries to play stopper for Twins in Texas
By Jesse Sanchez / MLB.com
The first-place Rangers are one victory away from winning the four-game series against Twins in Arlington, and will send C.J. Wilson, their most consistent starter all season, to the mound Wednesday to complete the job.
That's not good news for Minnesota. The Twins lead the White Sox by 3 1/2 games in the AL Central standings, but have lost two in a row.
It will be up to Brian Duensing and Co. to keep that lead intact. Duensing joined the rotation July 23 and has provided a huge lift, going 4-0 with a 2.18 ERA in six starts for the Twins. He gave up one run in eight innings against the Angels in his last start.
"It's always nice to be able to fill from within your organization and not have to give up a lot of prospects to go get someone," said Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire. "When you have a guy like Duensing -- we know he's out in the bullpen and does a good job out there -- but we also know he's someone we can go to if something happens, and that's very important."
Wilson, who spent time as Texas' closer last season, is the star of a rotation that also includes Cliff Lee. He's unbeaten in seven starts since July 11, and it'll be hard for him to improve on his last outing, when he allowed three hits in eight innings in a 2-0 win over the O's on Friday. In that game, Wilson retired 18 of his final 19 batters.
"[Wilson] just found the spot in that strike zone and he stayed there," said Rangers manager Ron Washington. "He and the umpire were on the same page all night. He threw some good changeups, spotted his fastball, threw a few breaking balls. But for the most part, he stayed off the middle of the plate and made them work for their at-bats."
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Reliever Ron Mahay is expected to get a second opinion on the torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder before a decision will be made on whether he will have surgery. ... The Twins are 3-2 against the Rangers this season.
Rangers: Hamilton jumping on first pitches
Eight of Josh Hamilton's 29 home runs this season have come on the first pitch of an at-bat, including five of his last 10 homers. ... Opponents are batting .100 with runners in scoring position and two outs against Darren Oliver. ... Elvis Andrus is riding a 14-game hitting streak.
The Rangers have won six of their last seven games against the AL Central, and are 20-13 overall, including 13-6 in Arlington. ... The Twins have lost two games in a row for just the third time since the All-Star break, but have still won seven of their last 11 games.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.