Everyone picks on Eduardo Escobar.

"He brings in on himself," Twins righthander Kyle Gibson said. "He likes to play with other guys and throw some jabs."

Escobar was in his element Tuesday, with fists flying his way and his jersey being pulled off by Miguel Sano. His walk-off double in the ninth inning scored Kurt Suzuki from first base to give the Twins a 3-2 victory. The Twins have six walk-off wins this season, one fewer than they had in all of 2014.

After a 1-6 road trip during which they were outscored 60-27, a rare players-only meeting was called Tuesday afternoon. And the message there was to not accept what just happened.

"We talked about fighting," closer Glen Perkins said. "We talked about battling. We talked about not giving up."

Their bats were silent until two outs into the eighth inning, the Twins down 2-0. Then they got off the mat and fought against Rangers lefthander Jake Diekman, who throws fastballs in the upper 90s.

Escobar led off the eighth by drawing only his 13th walk of the season. He went to second on a passed ball, but Aaron Hicks and Brian Dozier followed with flyouts to center fielder Delino DeShields Jr.

Just when it looked as if the Twins were going to waste another scoring opportunity, Joe Mauer lined a double to left to score Escobar and make it 2-1. Diekman then fired a fastball registering 98 miles per hour to Miguel Sano, but the rookie stayed with it and blasted a game-tying double high off the Kasota stone in the right field wall. It was the first hit by a righthanded hitter off Diekman in 14 at-bats.

The Twins kept grinding out at-bats in the ninth. Suzuki worked the count full and drew a two-out walk off Spencer Patton to bring Escobar to the plate. Escobar also worked the count full, then lined a pitch down the right field line. Outfielder Shin-Soo Choo chased down the ball but could not get it back to the infield in time. Escobar had driven in Suzuki, the teammate he spars with the most.
Escobar let out a roar as he stood on second and teammates moved in to treat him like a punching bag.

"I was shaking hands with the coaches," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "The next time I saw him, his jersey was gone. I'm not sure who disrobed him.

"He's kind of one of those guys who everyone likes to kid with on a daily basis. Suzuki in particular."

Gibson labored at times but kept the Twins within striking distance. His one big mistake came in the second. Josh Hamilton grounded a single through the shift with one out, then Elvis Andrus bashed an 0-1 pitch just over the left field wall for a two-run home run to open the scoring.

That was all the Rangers got off Gibson, who gave up two runs on seven hits and two walks with seven strikeouts. At least he pitched six innings, ending the Twins' streak of five consecutive games in which their starter had failed to pitch more than five innings. Gibson entered Tuesday with a 8.59 ERA since the All-Star break, so he has something to build on.

After falling out of a wild-card spot last week, the Twins will have to grind out more games like they did Tuesday if they want to prove they're not out of the playoff picture.

"You gotta win close games," Gibson said. "You gotta win games at home. To battle back and come back there in the eighth and ninth inning shows a lot. That's how we have been all year. We lost it a little bit in the second half, but we're looking to get it back."