Twins shut out mighty Rangers offense

MINNEAPOLIS, MN—Glen Perkins pitched six shutout innings against a powerful Texas lineup in the Minnesota Twin’s 6-0 victory on Friday night, the first time the Rangers have been shut out all season.

Perkins (7-2) allowed just three hits to a Rangers team that entered the game leading the majors in most offensive categories, including batting average, runs, hits, slugging percentage and total bases.

It was the first time Texas has been shut out since Aug. 19 of last season, when former Twins ace Johan Santana fanned 17 Rangers at the Metrodome.

Ian Kinsler’s 25-game hit streak came to an end with an 0-for-4 night, Josh Hamilton went 0-for-4 after wowing the baseball world with 28 homers in the first round of the Home Run Derby on Monday night and Hank Blalock was 0-for-2 with a walk in his first game since April 25.

Delmon Young tied a career high by going 4-for-4 with an RBI, even though only one of those hits got out of the infield on the fly.

That’s how these small-ball Twins operate. They are last in the AL in home runs, but first in the majors in hitting with runners in scoring position.

Minnesota broke the game open in trademark fashion with four runs on five singles in the seventh inning to chase Kevin Millwood (6-6).

Jason Kubel and Brian Buscher each had two hits and two RBIs for the Twins, who got shutout innings in relief from Craig Breslow, Jesse Crain and Boof Bonser.

Perkins, the rookie left-hander, hasn’t lost a decision since May 30 against the Yankees and is one of the big reasons why Francisco Liriano remains stuck in Triple-A Rochester.

Liriano’s agent has asked the union to investigate why his client has not been called up yet despite dominating hitters for the past six weeks. But with Perkins and fellow young starters Kevin Slowey, Scott Baker and Nick Blackburn pitching so well, the Twins are having trouble finding a spot for him in the rotation.

The Rangers would love to have that problem. Their bullpen leads the major leagues in innings pitched, averaging nearly four per game over the last 24 outings.

Millwood had a solid outing through six innings, the first time he’s made it that deep in five starts. But he only managed one out in the seventh as the Twins got a two-run single from Kubel and RBI singles from Young and Buscher in the inning.