MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Twins scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning, erasing a one-run deficit, to beat the Texas Rangers 4-3 Tuesday at Target Field.
With the bases loaded and two outs in the ninth, center fielder Danny Santana hit a soft grounder back to Rangers closer Joakim Soria. Soria misplayed the ball and Eduardo Nunez scored from third to cap the comeback win.
Down 3-2 heading into the ninth, the Twins got a one-out double from right fielder Oswaldo Arcia to start the threat. Nunez followed with a single to tie the game and advanced to second on the throw home. He advanced to third on a ground ball to Texas third baseman Adrian Beltre when Beltre could not apply the tag. An intentional walk loaded the bases to set up the rookie Santana.
The blown save was Soria's first of the season.
A bloop single by Rangers catcher Chris Gimenez in the top of the sixth inning looked like it would be the difference for Texas, as the Rangers took advantage of a crucial fielding miscue by Twins left fielder Chris Parmelee.
Parmelee, starting his second career game in left, failed to call off shortstop Eduardo Escobar on an easy fly ball by Rangers first baseman Mitch Moreland. The ball dropped, and Moreland moved to second on a single by Beltre. After a double play erased Beltre at second, Moreland scampered home with the lead run.
Rangers starter Scott Baker, filling in on an injury emergency after Yu Darvish woke up with a stiff neck, was solid against his former team. He allowed only two runs on three hits with four strikeouts and was in line for his first win since July 28, 2011, when Baker beat the Detroit Tigers as a member of the Twins.
Twins starter Phil Hughes was good too, pitching seven innings of three-run ball, allowing eight hits with three strikeouts. He did not walk a batter for the sixth consecutive game and has now gone 175 batters without issuing a free pass.
Minnesota closer Glen Perkins, who worked the top of the ninth, stranded Alex Rios at third base to keep it a one-run deficit. He improved to 2-0.
NOTES: Rangers RHP Yu Darvish was scratched from his scheduled start because of stiffness in his neck. Darvish said he awoke Tuesday morning with the stiffness, which general manager Jon Daniels said improved after treatment. He was sent for an MRI on his neck, which cost the right-hander the final two weeks of spring training and delayed the start of his 2014 season. Darvish is 4-2 with a 2.35 ERA. ... With Darvish shelved indefinitely, Texas started RHP Scott Baker in his place. A former Minnesota Twins pitcher, Baker entered the game 0-1 after allowing six runs in six innings in his first start of the season last week against the Detroit Tigers. Baker pitched for the Twins from 2005 until 2011.