Twins shell Rangers, 15-5

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ARLINGTON, Texas – Justin Morneau hit two home runs and had a career-high six RBIs as the Minnesota Twins knocked out Texas ace Kevin Millwood in the second inning of a 15-5 victory over the Rangers.

Millwood, who signed a five-year, $60 million free agent contract in the offseason, was roughed up for nine runs and nine hits in 1 1-3 innings. It was his shortest start since 2000 when he lasted one-third of an inning for Atlanta against Pittsburgh.

Millwood (3-3) matched the most runs allowed in his career, also having yielded nine to Toronto on June 7, 2000, while pitching for the Braves.

The Twins, who began the night tied for next-to-last in the AL with 131 runs, had 15 baserunners in the first three innings.

Minnesota went on to a season-high 18 hits and matched its most runs of the season. The Twins also scored 13 runs in a victory over Toronto on April 5.

Michael Cuddyer went 3-for-5 with three doubles and Torii Hunter also was 3-for-5 for the Twins, who have won five of eight.

Provided with a nine-run cushion after two innings, Minnesota starter Carlos Silva (2-5) cruised to his first victory since April 12. Silva allowed five runs and 11 hits in six innings.

Hank Blalock and Kevin Mench had back-to-back homers for the Rangers, who have lost four of five.

Brad Wilkerson and Michael Young both went 3-for-4 for Texas.

Five of the first six hitters reached base against Millwood, who pitched a complete-game 8-2 victory over Baltimore in his previous start.

Hunter got the scoring started with an RBI single and Cuddyer followed with a run-scoring double. Morneau’s three-run blast into the Texas bullpen in right-center made it 5-0.

The Twins kept up the first-inning pressure with Lew Ford’s triple and Juan Castro’s RBI single.

Hunter’s RBI single in the second stretched Minnesota’s lead to 7-0. Two hitters later, Millwood was out of the game.

The Twins didn’t let up on Rangers reliever Rick Bauer, who gave up second-inning RBI singles to Hunter, Morneau and Rondell White, and a third-inning RBI double to Cuddyer to make it 10-0.

Blalock and Mench homered in the fourth to make it 10-2, and Young’s RBI single in the fifth got the Rangers within seven runs. In the sixth, Rod Barajas’ run-scoring double and Gary Matthews Jr.’s RBI groundout made it 10-5.

The Twins added one run in the seventh and two in the eighth, then Morneau capped the scoring with his eighth homer, a two-run shot in the ninth.

Notes: Francisco Liriano pitched three innings for his first career save. … It was Morneau’s third career multihomer game. … Cuddyer extended his hitting streak to 10 games. … Millwood’s shortest outing for Cleveland last season was three innings. He had lasted at least five innings in each of his first seven starts for Texas. … Young hit his team-high 16th double for Texas. … The Rangers had gone four games without a homer until Blalock’s blast. … Matthews extended his hitting streak to 11 games. … Rangers third base coach Steve Smith returned after serving a five-game suspension for an altercation with an umpire.

AP-ES-05-09-06 2301EDT

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