Minneapolis, MN (SportsNetwork.com) - Nick Tepesch spun 6 2/3 solid innings to help guide the Texas Rangers to a 7-2 victory over the Minnesota Twins in the opener of a four-game series at Target Field on Monday.
Tepesch (2-0) allowed just two runs on seven hits with four strikeouts to win consecutive decisions for the first time in his young career.
Elvis Andrus collected three hits to go along with a pair of RBI and Chris Gimenez drove in two runs for the Rangers, winners of three straight and six of their last eight.
"We got to keep it up. I just want us to continue to stay consistent and continue to get better," said Rangers manager Ron Washington.
Kevin Correia (2-6), who was 3-0 against the Rangers entering the game, yielded four runs on seven hits over seven frames to absorb the loss.
"It was a situation where one pitch here and there, and we're up and their down," said Correia.
Trevor Plouffe blasted a solo home run for the Twins, who have lost four straight contests.
With the game tied 2-2 in the fifth, Rougned Odor and Shin-Soo Choo clubbed back-to-back two-out singles to keep the frame alive. Andrus doubled to center to break the tie and put the Rangers up two.
In the eighth, Andrus smacked a leadoff single before Alex Rios was intentionally walked with two outs. Gimenez made the Twins pay by ripping a two-run double to left to give Texas a 6-2 advantage. Leonys Martin added a run with a base hit to right.
Early on, Plouffe crushed a two-out homer to center field on a full-count slider to start the scoring in the first.
Rios singled to center and stole second to put himself in scoring position with one out in the second. Gimenez hit a sharp grounder that went off Correia's foot. The Minnesota starter then hurried his throw to first, which was wild, allowing Rios to tie the game. Michael Choice's double off the right-field wall made it 2-1 Rangers.
Eduardo Escobar came through with a two-out blooper to left to even the score at 2-2 in the second. Josh Willingham was hit by a pitch and Kurt Suzuki's base hit put runners on the corners.