ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) - The Minnesota Twins left 14 runners on base and their starting pitcher was ejected in the third inning.
In the end, it was a couple of sloppy plays in the field that cost them.
Josh Hamilton had five RBIs and Mitch Moreland doubled in the go-ahead run during a six-run eighth inning that carried the Texas Rangers to a 10-6 victory over Minnesota on Thursday night.
A pair of Twins errors led to five unearned runs in the eighth as the AL West leaders sent 11 batters to the plate to break a 4-all tie. Geovany Soto, Ian Kinsler and Elvis Andrus also had RBIs in the inning.
``We battled pretty hard, but our defense let us down at the end,' Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said. ``We had plenty of opportunities.'
Scott Diamond was ejected by plate umpire Wally Bell after throwing a pitch behind Hamilton's head. Gardenhire also was tossed after immediately protesting Bell's decision.
``Anytime in an umpire's judgment they go in the head area, we have to take care of business. I felt at the time that he had to be ejected for it,' Bell said.
Rangers starter Roy Oswalt had hit slugger Joe Mauer in the back in the preceding half-inning.
``I'm not going to get into that,' Gardenhire said. ``Everybody saw that, so I don't have to say anything about it.
``I've never seen it happen like that before.'
Diamond insisted he was just trying to pitch inside.
``That pitch definitely got away,' he said. ``My control was not that good tonight.'
Adrian Beltre had three hits, including his fourth homer in two days, and scored the tiebreaking run on Moreland's drive to left-center.
Ron Washington was in a grateful mood after his 500th win as manager of the Rangers.
``I think you have to give a lot of credit to the organization, the players, the coaches and everyone,' said Washington, in his sixth season as a manager - all with Texas. ``We got there fast. I didn't get there alone.'
Moreland entered in the sixth to replace designated hitter Michael Young, who left to witness the birth of his third son.
Beltre is hitting .529 with four home runs, two doubles and six RBIs in his last four games. He homered three times Wednesday night, twice in a nine-run fourth inning, and had five RBIs during a 12-3 victory over Baltimore.
Jared Burton (1-1) took the loss after giving up six runs on three hits and two walks in two-thirds of an inning.
Mike Adams (3-3) worked a scoreless eighth for the win. Joe Nathan entered in the ninth after Tanner Scheppers gave up two runs with two outs and converted his 22nd consecutive save opportunity and 25th of the season.
Andrus' error on Denard Span's grounder to shortstop let in the first runs the Rangers' bullpen had given up in 18 innings.
Beltre hit a one-out double in the eighth and Nelson Cruz reached on third baseman Trevor Plouffe's error, setting the stage for Moreland's clutch hit.
David Murphy was intentionally walked to bring up Soto, who hit a grounder that shortstop Pedro Florimon bobbled for an error. Soto was credited with an RBI.
Kinsler drew a bases-loaded walk, Andrus knocked in a run with an infield single and Hamilton added a two-run single.
Oswalt started in place of Yu Darvish, skipped because of tightness in his right quadriceps. The right-hander gave up four runs and seven hits over 5 1-3 innings.
Diamond worked 2 1-3 innings, giving up two runs on three hits and two walks.
The Rangers took a 4-2 lead in the fifth on Beltre's 23rd home run and Hamilton's RBI single that scored Kinsler.
Oswalt was pulled after giving up successive hits to Matt Carson and Plouffe in the sixth.
Rangers reliever Michael Kirkman, who had retired 10 consecutive batters over his past three appearances, couldn't keep Oswalt's runners from scoring.
Carson came home on Florimon's groundout and Span tied it with a single.
Hamilton's double in the first scored Kinsler and Andrus to give Texas a 2-1 lead. The 2010 AL MVP is hitting .345 with 17 RBIs in the past 16 games.
``Down the stretch, he is our horse,' Washington said. ``So is Beltre, so is Moreland, so is Murphy. We've got a pretty good team.'
NOTES: Span was back in the lineup after missing the previous nine games with a sore right shoulder sustained while diving for a ball in center field on Aug. 12 against Tampa Bay. ... Minnesota DH Josh Willingham was scratched because of a stiff neck.
The Associated Press News Service
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