Mauer's HR helps fuel one-sided win

The Twins got a quality start from Brian Duensing and have a chance to win the series after a horrendous start.

view larger photos

  

ARLINGTON, TEXAS - It was a rare powerful moment from the Twins' über-catcher -- a jolt from Joltin' Joe Mauer.

Mauer got hold of a Colby Lewis pitch in the first inning Wednesday night and gave it a 379-foot ride into the right field seats. The Twins jumped out to an early lead, piled on late and got a strong start by Brian Duensing in a 7-2 victory over the Texas Rangers.

After being pulverized 20-6 on Monday -- and raising questions if they might be sellers before Sunday's nonwaiver trade deadline -- the Twins have bounced back to win two games and can win the four-game series Thursday night when Scott Baker starts. Wednesday's victory also moved them within six games of AL Central-leading Detroit.

Jason Kubel was 3-for-5, and his three-run double in the ninth inning put the game away. Michael Cuddyer was 2-for-4 with his team-high 15th homer -- also coming off Lewis (10-8) -- and two RBI.

Second baseman Alexi Casilla pulled a muscle in his right leg running out a double in the ninth. He will have a magnetic resonance imaging exam Thursday.

A Mauer home run can't be shrugged off. He hit nine all of last season -- after hitting a career-high 28 in 2009. He entered Wednesday's game homerless this season. The blast was Mauer's first since Sept. 15, 2010, when he went deep off Gavin Floyd in Chicago.

That's 203 plate appearances between Mauer home runs.

"It felt good to get the lead and get on the board right away,'' Mauer said. "I hit it well. It was just a fastball down and in, maybe a little cutter. With [Lewis], he throws a lot of cutters, so I was looking in a little bit. And I was able to put a good swing on it."

Mauer has only one home run at home since Target Field opened last year, but he appears to have solved the ballpark here.

Mauer entered the night a career .245 hitter at Rangers Ballpark, his lowest career batting average in any American League road ballpark. He was 2-for-4 on Wednesday, adding an RBI single in the fifth.

It's turned into a nice little surge for Mauer, who had the game-winning hit in the ninth inning Tuesday as the Twins came back from four runs down to beat the Rangers 9-8. He capped off a comeback on Tuesday and kicked off a victory on Wednesday.

More impressively, Mauer got hold of a pitch in the inside corner of the plate and pulled it to right field, a rarity for Mauer and his left field-intensive swing.

"He had a smile from ear-to-ear, I know that," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He actually went up there and, I don't know if it was a cutter and [Lewis] tried to come in and didn't get it in where he wanted to, he clicked on it pretty good. Made a good sound for us."

After Mauer missed 58 games because of leg weakness following offseason knee surgery, Gardenhire believed his three-time batting champion would need some time to get his swing going.

Mauer was batting .186 June 17 but has since batted .346. Gardenhire believed Mauer wouldn't need long to start driving the ball, and proved that Wednesday.

"It was well struck,'' said Duensing (8-8), who went 6 2/3 innings, the longest stint by a Twins starter since Carl Pavano pitched seven innings on July 16.

"Better late than never. Hopefully, there is more to come.''

  • related content

  • Span not fazed by trade rumors

    Thursday July 28, 2011

    Twins outfielder Denard Span is aware of reports that he might be traded, but he's focusing on recovering from his concussion.

  • Twins-Texas game recap

    Thursday July 28, 2011

    He who was 3-for-5 with a bases-clearing double in the ninth, putting the game away for the Twins.

  • Joe Mauer

  • TWINS 7, TEXAS 2

    Up next: 7:05 p.m. today at Texas • TV: FSN (1500ESPN)

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Tennessee 7:25 PM
Jacksonville
Philadelphia 12/20/14 3:30 PM
Washington
San Diego 12/20/14 7:25 PM
San Francisco
Minnesota 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Baltimore 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Detroit 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Cleveland 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Atlanta 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Green Bay 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Kansas City 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
New England 12/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 12/21/14 3:05 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Oakland
Indianapolis 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Dallas
Seattle 12/21/14 7:30 PM
Arizona
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
Cincinnati
New York 7:00 PM
Chicago
New Orleans 7:30 PM
Houston
Milwaukee 9:00 PM
Sacramento
Oklahoma City 9:30 PM
Golden State
Florida 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
Colorado 6:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Toronto 6:00 PM
Carolina
Washington 6:00 PM
Columbus
Anaheim 6:30 PM
Montreal
St. Louis 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Edmonton 9:30 PM
San Jose
St Thomas (TX) 11:30 AM
Rice
Stony Brook 6:00 PM
Canisius
Temple 6:00 PM
Delaware
FIU 6:00 PM
Long Island
Lehigh 6:00 PM
Quinnipiac
South Alabama 6:00 PM
Richmond
Seton Hall 6:00 PM
South Florida
Ga Southern 6:00 PM
Stetson
Yale 6:00 PM
Vermont
Cleveland State 6:00 PM
Virginia
Wright State 6:00 PM
Western Carolina
Nicholls 6:30 PM
Louisiana Tech
Morgan State 6:30 PM
Rider
Idaho State 6:30 PM
South Dakota St
Oakland City 7:00 PM
Austin Peay
Eureka 7:00 PM
Bradley
Appalachian St 7:00 PM
Charlotte
Connecticut 7:00 PM
Duke
Southern Miss 7:00 PM
Jackson State
Coastal Carolina 7:00 PM
Ole Miss
Montana State 7:30 PM
South Dakota
LSU 8:00 PM
UAB
Ohio 8:05 PM
Evansville
CS-Dominguez 9:00 PM
Cal State Fullerton
Walla Walla 9:00 PM
Idaho
DePaul 9:00 PM
Oregon State
Nevada 9:00 PM
Pacific
Portland State 9:00 PM
San Francisco
CS-Bakersfield 9:05 PM
Utah State
Nevada 12/20/14 10:00 AM
Louisiana
Utah State 12/20/14 1:20 PM
Texas-El Paso
(23) Utah 12/20/14 2:30 PM
Colorado State
Western Mich 12/20/14 4:45 PM
Air Force
South Alabama 12/20/14 8:15 PM
Bowling Green
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
Memphis
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Rice
Niagara 10:00 AM
Cleveland State
High Point 10:00 AM
VA Commonwealth
Towson 10:30 AM
Wake Forest
Presbyterian 11:00 AM
Charlotte
Chicago State 11:00 AM
Bradley
Northwestern Coll 11:05 AM
Drake
Vanderbilt 12:00 PM
Marquette
Temple 4:00 PM
Howard
Southern Miss 4:00 PM
Ole Miss
UMBC 4:00 PM
Rider
Miami-Florida 5:00 PM
UCLA
St Mary-KS 5:00 PM
South Dakota
William & Mary 5:00 PM
Wofford
Troy 5:30 PM
Evansville
Loyola Marymount 6:00 PM
USC
St Francis-PA 6:00 PM
Duquesne
Indiana-Southeast 6:00 PM
IUPUI
Delaware State 6:00 PM
Detroit
Tenn Temple 6:00 PM
Gardner-Webb
West Virginia St 6:00 PM
Radford
Fairfield 6:00 PM
Seton Hall
Dartmouth 6:00 PM
New Hampshire
Ball State 6:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Jacksonville 6:00 PM
Tennessee St
Trine 6:00 PM
Western Mich
Tenn Tech 6:30 PM
Lipscomb
Samford 7:00 PM
Tulane
New Orleans 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Incarnate Word 7:00 PM
TX-Pan American
Ark-Little Rock 7:00 PM
South Dakota St
CS-Northridge 7:30 PM
Northern Ariz
Santa Clara 8:00 PM
Oregon
(19) Oklahoma St 8:00 PM
Weber State
Washington 8:00 PM
San Diego State
Cal Poly 8:00 PM
New Mexico
(10) Louisville 8:00 PM
Grand Canyon
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Do you like the Ervin Santana signing by the Twins?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close