ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) – Pinch-hitter Hank Blalock’s infield single drove in the winning run in the ninth inning, giving the Texas Rangers a 2-1 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Sunday.

Phil Nevin had a one-out single in the ninth off Jesse Crain (9-4) and went to second when pinch-hitter David Dellucci walked.

Rod Barajas reached on catcher’s interference to load the bases and Blalock, held out of the starting lineup by manager Buck Showalter because he was in a 13-for-63 slump, hit a dribbler that shortstop Jason Bartlett was unable to field as Nevin crossed the plate.

Doug Brocail (5-2) pitched a scoreless ninth for the win.

Crain allowed one run and three hits in 1 1-3 innings.

Rangers starter Chris Young gave up three hits in seven shutout innings and left with a 1-0 advantage, but Texas’ bullpen couldn’t hold the lead.

The Twins tied it at 1 in the eighth off Erasmo Ramirez when Bartlett singled, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt, advanced to third on a groundout and scored on Joe Mauer’s single.

Young struck out six and walked two in a duel with reigning AL Cy Young winner Johan Santana.

Santana gave up one run and three hits in seven innings. He struck out six – increasing his major league-leading total to 195 – and walked three.

Minnesota couldn’t score after loading the bases with one out in the first as Young retired Matthew LeCroy and Jacque Jones on popups.

Young retired 11 straight until Lew Ford led off the fifth with a double.

Santana set down eight consecutive Rangers from the second through the fifth before Texas broke through for a 1-0 lead on Michael Young’s RBI single.

Barajas singled and went to second on Gary Matthews Jr.’s walk. Right fielder Jones fielded Young’s single and fired toward the plate in an effort to cut down the slow-footed Barajas, but first baseman Justin Morneau cut off Jones’ throw, had trouble getting the ball out of his glove, and his throw to the plate was too late.

Notes: The game started with temperatures in the low 90s after several days in triple-digits. … Hunter Wendelstedt was scheduled to be the third base umpire but bypassed the game to return to his home in New Orleans in anticipation of Hurricane Katrina. The game went on with three umpires. … Mark Teixeira of the Rangers had his 12-game hitting streak end.

AP-ES-08-28-05 1657EDT


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