Cron's HR caps 6-run first as Twins beat Rangers 12-7

Minnesota Twins' Marwin Gonzalez, left, and Miguel Sano (22) celebrate after Gonzalez scored during the fifth inning of the team's baseball game against the Texas Rangers in Arlington, Texas, Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Jose Berrios throws to a Texas Rangers batter during the first inning of a baseball game in Arlington, Texas, Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Minnesota Twins' C.J. Cron (24) and Marwin Gonzalez, right, are greeted at the dugout after Cron hit a two-run home run that scored Gonzalez during the first inning of the team's baseball game against the Texas Rangers in Arlington, Texas, Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019. The Twins won 12-7. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Texas Rangers' Shawn Kelley walks to the dugout after the top of the eighth inning of the team's baseball game against the Minnesota Twins where benches cleared after an exchange between Kelley and Twins' Marwin Gonzalez in Arlington, Texas, Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Minnesota Twins' Jorge Polanco (11) and Luis Arraez (2) celebrate after Polanco scored during the eighth inning of the team's baseball game against the Texas Rangers in Arlington, Texas, Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Minnesota Twins' Miguel Sano (22), Tommy Watkins (40), Marwin Gonzalez (9) and Texas Rangers' Rougned Odor, center, disperse after both benches cleared during the eighth inning of a baseball game in Arlington, Texas, Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Minnesota Twins' Max Kepler follows through on an RBI single during the fifth inning of the team's baseball game against the Texas Rangers in Arlington, Texas, Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Minnesota Twins' Marwin Gonzalez (9) walks away after both benches cleared following an exchange between Gonzalez and Texas Rangers' Shawn Kelley during the eighth inning of a baseball game in Arlington, Texas, Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Minnesota Twins' C.J. Cron, left, rounds the bases past Texas Rangers' Rougned Odor after hitting a two-run home run during the first inning of a baseball game in Arlington, Texas, Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019. The shot scored Marwin Gonzalez. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Minnesota Twins' Miguel Sano (22) is restrained as others run onto the field in the eighth inning of the team's baseball game against the Texas Rangers in Arlington, Texas, Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019. Both benches cleared after an exchange between Rangers' Shawn Kelley and Twins' Marwin Gonzalez. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Minnesota Twins' Marwin Gonzalez follows though on a two-run double next to Texas Rangers catcher Jose Trevino during the first inning of a baseball game in Arlington, Texas, Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

ARLINGTON, Texas — Tyler Duffey's season win total increased before the game while he was sitting in the clubhouse and again Saturday night after he was back out on the mound for the Minnesota Twins.

Duffey got the decision in the Twins' latest win by retiring the last two batters of the fifth inning and leaving the bases loaded in a 12-7 victory over the Texas Rangers. Hours before the first pitch, he was awarded a win for Minnesota's 4-3 victory Friday night that originally was credited to Sam Dyson.

"Tonight, I didn't even think about the chance that I could (get another win)," said Duffey (4-1), who struck out the lone batter whom he faced Friday to end the sixth inning. "It's great. To contribute to wins is what we want to do."

C.J. Cron had a two-run home run in Saturday's six-run first inning as the Twins increased their lead in the AL Central Division to 2 1/2 games, their largest since Aug. 6.

The Rangers have lost nine of their last 11 games and are three games under .500 for the first time since May 18.

Ariel Jurado (6-9) nearly escaped the first inning scoreless, but a relay throw to him to complete what would have been an inning ending 3-6-1 double play skipped off the top of his glove as he ran across the bag. Jurado allowed a career-high eight runs — including the six unearned in the first — for the second straight start in two innings.

"We didn't do anything to win the game," Texas manager Chris Woodward said. "We didn't get guys out we needed to, especially early. We let one mistake kind of snowball into a bunch of runs after that."

Miguel Sanó also homered in the ninth for Minnesota. It gave the Twins a major league leading 240 home runs, keeping them on pace to break the record of 267 set last season by the New York Yankees.

José Berrios lasted only 4 1/3 innings, his shortest start of the season. Berrios allowed seven runs, three earned, and seven hits with three walks.

"I think we could have made more plays for him in the field," Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. "I think he deserved better."

Danny Santana hit two two-run homers in the first two innings, giving him 21 this season after going into the year with 13 in 364 career games. Santana became the fourth player in the history of the Rangers-Washington Senators franchise to homer in each of the first two innings, joining Mark Teixeira, Carl Everett and Ian Kinsler - who did it twice.

Sanó, Marwin Gonzalez, Jorge Polanco and Jake Cave each had three hits for Minnesota.

HEATED EXCHANGE? NOT REALLY

The benches cleared after Gonzalez's ground out to end the top of the eighth when he and Rangers reliever Shawn Kelley appeared to exchange words. Except they didn't.

Gonzalez was upset about grounding out. Kelley was upset at previously allowing a run to score. They just happened to express their dissatisfaction in the direction of each other, and both teams headed out onto the field.

"A misunderstanding for everyone," said Gonzalez, who is 10 for 14 during the first three games of the series.

SIX WITH 20 FOR TWINS

Cron's homer was his 20th, making him the sixth Twin this season with at least 20 home runs. That equals the club high, set in 1964, with 39 games remaining in the season.

UP NEXT

Twins: LHP Martín Pérez (8-5, 4.57 ERA) will make his return to Globe Life Park after spending his first seven big league seasons with the Rangers. Pérez beat Texas at home on July 5 in his only appearance against his former club.

Rangers; RHP Lance Lynn (14-8, 3.54) spent the first half of last season with the Twins and has never faced Minnesota in seven-plus major league seasons. Lynn is 2-2 in his last four starts despite allowing only four total earned runs.

___

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