MINNEAPOLIS (AP)—Not making Minnesota’s opening day roster might have been the best thing to happen to Glen Perkins.
“They had a plan,” the 25-year-old lefty said Tuesday night after picking up his first major-league win. “They laid it out for me when I was (in the minors). I didn’t believe them. I didn’t want to believe them.”
Now he does.
Perkins pitched six scoreless innings to lead the Twins to a 11-4 win over Texas and send the Rangers to their third-straight loss.
“It’s certainly a relief to get that first win,” said Perkins.
The Twins, meanwhile, were relieved to get their offense going. They roughed up Texas starter Doug Mathis (1-1) for nine runs in 2 1-3 innings. Mathis made his first major league start since the Rangers purchased his contract from Triple-A Oklahoma on May 11 to replace the injured Kevin Millwood.
He’ll certainly remember his first start, probably not too fondly though.
“I was more anxious than nervous,” he said. “I needed to slow things down and I didn’t do it.”
Alexi Casilla, Mike Lamb, and Delmon Young each had two RBIs.
A night after outlasting the Rangers in 12 innings, the Twins took control of the game early, scoring nine runs by the third inning.
“Obviously you want to get out there and score some runs for your pitcher,” Joe Mauer said. “We’ve been struggling to get guys in for the last couple of weeks. So tonight it was important—keep attacking the zone.”
Minnesota jumped on Mathis scoring two runs in the first. Carlos Gomez led off with a triple, Casilla drove him in with a single and Joe Mauer followed with a double.
The Twins put the game away in the third when they scored seven runs, sending 12 batters to the plate. Mathis watched 10 consecutive Twins reach base. He gave up five hits and two walks and Ian Kinsler committed a costly error at second during the stretch.
Franklyn German relieved Mathis after 70 pitches, walked in a run and gave up a sacrifice fly as the Twins took a comfortable 9-0 lead heading into the fourth.
The seven runs in the inning scored was a season-high for Minnesota.
“Kind of a relaxing evening after a long night last night,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said.
Perkins (1-1) gave up six hits and three runs in 6 1-3 innings.
The Rangers finally got through to Perkins when they loaded the bases in the seventh. With one out, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and German Duran hit back-to-back RBI singles to chase Perkins, who received a loud ovation as he walked to the dugout.
Despite making only his third career start, Perkins worked like an efficient veteran, keeping Texas’ batters off balance by mixing up his pitches early.
“I told Joe, just get the fingers down and I’ll throw what you call,” said Perkins, the Minnesota native who began the season with Triple-A Rochester.
Kinsler singled in another run in the seventh before Brian Bass struck out Michael Young and induced Josh Hamilton into a ground out to end the inning.
Minnesota made it 11-3 in the seventh when Young’s RBI triple scored Jason Kubel, and Lamb followed with a sacrifice fly.
Texas added a final run with two outs in the ninth when Hamilton’s infield single scored Kinsler.
“It was just one of those nights,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said. “We’ve got to take our shower and let that one go down the drain.
Minnesota has walked a major-league low 118 batters this season. … Casilla has five RBIs in his last two games. … Texas didn’t have an extra-base hit for the first time this season. … Washington said Hank Blalock (hamstring), normally a 3B, played 1B during a simulated game to get practice for the position when he returns this weekend. … Washington also said he had no plans to move C.J. Wilson out of the closer’s role after two straight blown saves and eight earned runs allowed in his last five outings.