Twins 4, Rangers 3

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ARLINGTON, Texas – Vicente Padilla forced in the go-ahead run in the seventh inning when he walked two batters and hit two others, helping the Minnesota Twins to a 4-3 victory over the Texas Rangers on Wednesday.

With the score 1-1, Padilla (3-3) walked Torii Hunter and Michael Cuddyer opening the seventh, then hit Justin Morneau and Mike Redmond with pitches.

Joaquin Benoit relieved and got Tony Batista to ground into a double play as Cuddyer scored for a 3-1 lead, then struck out Juan Castro.

Hunter added an RBI single off Francisco Cordero in the eighth that made it 4-1.

Mark DeRosa, who went 3-for-3, hit a two-run double against Juan Rincon in the bottom half. With the potential tying run on second, Gerald Laird popped out and pinch-hitter Gary Matthews Jr. grounded out.

Kyle Lohse (2-3) allowed one run and six hits in six innings, struck out six and walked four as the Twins won for the fourth time in five games heading into a weekend series against the AL Central-leading Chicago White Sox. Lohse, who has an 8.33 ERA, is trying to hold onto his spot in the Twins’ rotation.

Joe Nathan struck out two in a perfect ninth for his fifth save in as many chances.

Padilla gave up three runs, three hits and three walks in six innings. He was perfect until Lew Ford’s single leading off the fourth.

Rangers manager Buck Showalter was ejected by plate umpire Mark Wegner in the fourth. After taking a called third strike, the Rangers’ Brad Wilkerson had a few words for Wegner and lingered at the plate. Showalter came out of the dugout and was tossed by Wegner.

Showalter was ejected for the first time this season and third in his four years as Rangers manager.

Mark Teixeira hit an RBI single in the third for the Rangers, who have lost four of five. Hunter hit a run-scoring, double-play grounder in the fourth.

Notes: Matthews and Rod Barajas weren’t in the Rangers’ starting lineup. Matthews has been bothered by a sore quadriceps and Barajas was rested. Adrian Brown started in center and Laird was the catcher. … Twins manager Ron Gardenhire started Nick Punto at second base instead of Luis Castillo, who has been slowed by a sore knee. Gardenhire did not start OF Shannon Stewart because Stewart is recovering from the flu. … Thursday is the Rangers’ only off day in May. Texas opens a 10-game trip Friday night at Boston.

AP-ES-05-10-06 1715EDT

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