Posted: Jun 27, 2014 9:21 PM
Updated: Jun 27, 2014 9:22 PM
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) Adrian Beltre homered, Shin-Soo Choo had three hits in his return to the leadoff spot and the Texas Rangers snapped their longest losing streak in nearly nine years, holding on to win 5-4 over the Minnesota Twins on Friday night.
Nick Tepesch (3-3) allowed only three singles over 7 1-3 scoreless innings for the Rangers, who entered the series opener mired in an eight-game losing streak for the first time since August 2005.
Minnesota has lost its last nine road games, including a three-game sweep at the Los Angeles Angels before getting to Texas.
Manager Ron Washington decided to shake up his lineup a bit, with Choo leading off for the first time in 18 games. Carlos Pena, in only his fourth game back with the Rangers, took over in the No. 3 spot where Choo had hit .149 (10 for 67) since June 7.
The change paid off immediately when Choo had a leadoff single in the first and scored on Beltre's ninth homer, which just cleared the fence and landed in the Rangers bullpen in right-center field.
Beltre added what proved to be a deciding run with a sacrifice fly in the eighth.
Kevin Correia (4-9) allowed four runs and six hits over six innings. The right-hander, who struck out three and walked two, had given up only two earned runs over 18 innings his previous three starts.
Jason Frasor and Neal Cotts each got an out in the eighth after Tepesch gave up a one-out hit to Minnesota leadoff hitter Brian Dozer.
Joakim Soria, the closer in only his second appearance since June 14, allowed four runs in the ninth, including Jorge Polanco's two-run triple for his first major league hit that made it 5-4. Soria had given up just one earned over 20 2-3 innings his previous nine games.
Luis Sardinas and Choo had RBI doubles in the fifth, both on balls that left fielder Josh Willingham tried to catch.
Sardinas hit a sinking liner down the left-field line that rolled into the corner after Willingham made a diving attempt to catch it. Choo hit a flyball that glanced off Willingham's glove when he ran into the 14-foot fence.
NOTES: Rangers ace Yu Darvish (7-4, 2.62 ERA) is scheduled to start Saturday. He lost his last two starts, allowing 12 runs (eight earned) over 11 innings. ... Phil Hughes (8-3) pitches the middle game for the Twins. ... 1B/OF Brad Snyder declined an outright assignment to Triple-A Round Rock and took free agency Friday, three days after the Rangers designated him for assignment.