Rangers offense fizzles, lose to Twins 4-1

ARLINGTON, Texas(AP) Scott Baker allowed a run in eight innings and Michael Cuddyer homered as the Minnesota Twins handed the slumping Texas Rangers their fourth straight loss, 4-1 Saturday night.

The Twins, who are 2-0 on a 10-game road trip, moved within two games of first-place Detroit in a bunched American League Central.

Baker (8-7) retired the last nine batters he faced. He allowed six hits and struck out eight to win for the fourth time in five starts.

Joe Nathan pitched a scoreless ninth for his 25th save in 27 chances. Nathan has not allowed a run in his last 23 2-3 innings dating back to May 21.

Cuddyer gave the Twins the lead with an RBI double, then added a solo homer in the fifth.

Nelson Cruz , a finalist in this week's home run derby, hit a solo shot and went 3 for 4 for the Rangers, who fell three games behind the Los Angeles Angels in the AL West.

The Ranger, who had seven hits, have lost five of six and four games to the Angels in the standings since July 8. In those six games, Texas is hitting .192 (37-for-193).

Scott Feldman (8-3) had his three-game winning streak snapped. The right-hander gave up three runs, five hits and struck out five over six innings.

The Twins (47-44), who have won 12 of 17 on the road after starting 7-19, are a season-best three games over .500 for the second time this season.

Cuddyer doubled off the wall in left to bring home Justin Morneau , who walked leading off the second. Carlos Gomez added an RBI single to make it 2-0.

Cruz hit his 23rd homer, a solo shot with two outs in the fourth that cut Minnesota's lead to 2-1.

Cuddyer led off the fifth with his 15th homer of the season.

With two outs in the eighth, Morneau hit an RBI single to extend the Twins' advantage to 4-1.

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire was ejected in the bottom of the ninth by first base umpire Gary Cederstrom for arguing whether Cruz was out on an infield hit.

NOTES:

Rangers 3B Michael Young 's single in the third was his 1,596th career hit, passing Juan Gonzalez for third on the Rangers list behind Ivan Rodriguez (1,723) and Rafael Palmeiro (1,692). ... Twins RHP Kevin Slowey threw long toss from 150 feet on Saturday in his rehab from a strained right wrist. Slowey was originally scheduled for a bullpen session on Saturday, but trainers put that off until Monday. Slowey has been on the 15-day DL since July 4. ... Minnesota SS Nick Punto ended an 0-for-17 slide with a double in the fifth.


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