MINNEAPOLIS — With a runner tagging up from second to third, a Joey Gallo throw to try and nail the runner at third base was airmailed. With two outs in the second inning, the first run of the game scored.
It was the first of six runs that the Rangers would allow with two outs as its late comeback attempt came up short. Texas lost 6-5 at Target Field to open up a four-game series against the Twins.
“It’s tough,” said manager Chris Woodward. “It just tells you that you’ve got to finish innings. They’re Major League hitters, they’re not going to give an inch.”
Adolis Garcia and Joey Gallo hit two home runs in eighth and ninth inning, respectively, to make the game much closer. But for the most part, Texas couldn’t match the two-out magic of its opponents. In the first six innings, it stranded runners at third base in three of them.
Dane Dunning was solid — tossing 5 2/3 innings and allowing two earned runs. After he was pulled, Kolby Allard came in and allowed three consecutive hits, all of which scored runs.
“Ultimately, I want to stay in the game, keep pitching,” Dunning said. “I want to finish that inning. But that’s out of my control. I respect what they’re doing. They’re trying to help me for the longevity of my career. … But me as a competitor, I want that inning.”
The Twins added an insurance run in the eighth inning on a Jorge Polanco double.
That Dahl play, the Gallo throw and a bit of a misread out in center from Garcia all led to runs in different innings.
“It’s hard to win a Major League game when you give a team four runs,” Woodward said. “… After the fact, you lose 6-5, you realize you probably should have won the game.”
The Rangers had comebacks in them the last two days at home against the Red Sox. This comeback attempt was just a little too steep.
Rangers starting pitcher Kohei Arihara will play catch on Tuesday after getting an injection in a finer in his pitching hand. If there is discomfort, he will likely be put on the injured list, Woodward said. If he feels fine, the Rangers will let him go the next time in the rotation. His start on Wednesday is being skipped after two ineffective outings, possibly related to the issue with his finger.
Rangers backup catcher Jonah Heim is fine, Woodward said, after taking a foul ball to the neck during Sunday’s game. He was taken out of that game, but was available to play on Monday.