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Polanco, Twins top Rangers 6-3 for 1st 4-game sweep of Texas

Sun Aug 18 8:15pm ET
By SCHUYLER DIXON
AP Sports Writer

Players: Shin-soo Choo, Jeff Mathis, Nelson Cruz, Sergio Romo, Sam Dyson, Lance Lynn, Kyle Gibson, Tyler Skaggs, Taylor Rogers, Jorge Polanco, Delino DeShields, Max Kepler, Rougned Odor, Joey Gallo, Willie Calhoun, Kolby Allard

Minnesota Twins catcher Mitch Garver (18) plays with his gum in the dugout during during a baseball game against the Texas Rangers Sunday, Aug. 18, 2019, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Richard W. Rodriguez)


Texas Rangers left fielder Shin-Soo Choo hits a solo home run in the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Minnesota Twins, Sunday, Aug. 18, 2019, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Richard W. Rodriguez)


Minnesota Twins Miguel Sano (22), C.J. Cron (24) and Jason Castro (15) celebrate after scoring on a triple by Jorge Polanco in the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers, Sunday, Aug. 18, 2019, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Richard W. Rodriguez)


Texas Rangers' Hunter Pence (24) greets Delino DeShields (3) after they scored on a single by Jeff Mathis in the third inning of a baseball game against the Minnesota Twins, Sunday, Aug. 18, 2019, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Richard W. Rodriguez)


Texas Rangers' Jeff Mathis hits a two-run single in the third inning of a baseball game against the Minnesota Twins, Sunday, Aug. 18, 2019, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Richard W. Rodriguez)


Texas Rangers starting pitcher Lance Lynn delivers against the Minnesota Twins in the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 18, 2019, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Richard W. Rodriguez)


Minnesota Twins' Jorge Polanco (11) shakes hands with Luis Arraez (2) after scoring on a double in the first inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers, Sunday, Aug. 18, 2019, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Richard W. Rodriguez)


Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Martin Perez delivers against the Texas Rangers in the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 18, 2019, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Richard W. Rodriguez)


ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) The Minnesota Twins started a six-game road trip outside the lead in the AL Central for the first in almost four months.

They're back on top of Cleveland, with a little room to spare after a fruitful stop in Texas.

Jorge Polanco cleared the bases with a tiebreaking triple in the eighth inning, lifting the Twins to their first-ever four-game sweep of the Rangers with a 6-3 victory Sunday.

By finishing its first four-game sweep since the end of last season, Minnesota maintained a 2 1/2-game lead over the Indians in the AL Central. The Twins went 5-1 on a trip that started with them a half-game behind after Cleveland beat Boston while they had a day off.

Minnesota immediately went back in front with a win at Milwaukee while the Indians lost to the Red Sox.

''It was a tremendous trip,'' manager Rocco Baldelli said. ''It was fun to watch our guys. There were a lot of big moments on this trip, and ultimately we found ways to win these games.''

Polanco's two-out liner to the gap in right-center field off Emmanuel Clase (0-2) followed the hard-throwing rookie getting a strikeout and groundout after putting runners at second and third with no outs. Miguel Sano walked to load the bases before Polanco's team-leading sixth triple on a 99-mph cutter.

''I've seen 100 miles per hour, but his pitches cut and move,'' Polanco said through a translator.

Shin-Soo Choo connected for his 20th homer off onetime Texas closer Sam Dyson to get the Rangers even in the seventh, preventing left-hander Martin Perez from beating his former team for the second time in two starts after spending his first seven seasons with the Rangers.

Dyson (5-1) escaped the seventh despite allowing two singles after Choo's blast, Sergio Romo pitched around an error in the eighth and Taylor Rogers struck out Rougned Odor looking as the potential tying run in the ninth for his 19th save in 25 chances.

The Rangers have lost 10 of 12 and are on their third losing streak of at least four games since the All-Star break, including an eight-game skid.

''We're not just going to wipe it away and say, `OK, this is all going to be good tomorrow,''' manager Chris Woodward said. ''It's not. Like, we've got to learn from all this. Those are conversations that we're having on a daily basis. It's tough.''

Marwin Gonzalez gave the Twins a 2-0 lead in the first on a line-drive double that was misplayed by left fielder Willie Calhoun. It was Gonzalez's 11th hit in 15 at-bats in the series before a flyout, two groundouts and a walk his final four trips.

Texas didn't have a hit that left the infield off Perez until Delino DeShields' two-out single to right in the fourth. Jeff Mathis followed with a soft two-run single into right to get Texas within 3-2. Perez allowed two runs on five hits and four walks in five innings.

BLAST FURNACE

The temperature was 95 degrees at first pitch and reached 100 by the middle innings. Minnesota leadoff hitter and center fielder Max Kepler left the game in the seventh inning because of heat illness. The game lasted 3 hours, 49 minutes.

The Rangers are in the last of 26 seasons at Globe Life Park before moving across the street to Globe Life Field, which will have a retractable roof and air conditioning.

MINI-SKID

Lance Lynn tied a season high with five walks while allowing four hits and three runs in five innings for the Rangers. The right-hander followed two straight losses with a no-decision after matching the AL lead at that time with his 14th win on Aug. 2.

''Behind in a lot of counts and walked too many guys,'' Lynn said. ''From the get-go, it wasn't good enough. I've just got to be better from the get-go.''

TRAINER'S ROOM

Twins: Baldelli said it was possible slugger Nelson Cruz (left wrist strain) would be reinstated from the injured list Monday when he's eligible to return. Baldelli said the club has received ''nothing but positive news'' since Cruz got hurt.

Rangers: All-Star slugger Joey Gallo is lightly swinging a bat for the first time since surgery July 25 to remove the broken hamate bone in his right wrist. Woodward said the club hopes Gallo can play the final 2-3 weeks of the regular season.

UP NEXT

Twins: RHP Kyle Gibson (11-5, 4.28 ERA) is set for the opener of a three-game series at home against the White Sox. Gibson is 2-0 with a 1.38 ERA in two starts against Chicago this season, with 18 strikeouts and two walks in 13 innings.

Rangers: Rookie LHP Kolby Allard (1-0, 4.50) is set to pitch for Texas as the Angels return to Globe Life Park for the first time since pitcher Tyler Skaggs was found dead in his hotel room before the start of a series. The teams played three games after the opener was postponed.

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