ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Ryan Jeffers hit a game-tying sixth-inning home run, and the Minnesota Twins beat the Texas Rangers 6-5 on Sunday to avoid a three-game sweep.
Jeffers, ninth at bat, singled in the second and put the Twins ahead 5-4 with a drive from Brock Burke (4-2). Jeffers was 5 for 8 in the series with four RBIs and two of seven home runs this season.
“When his attack is there, it’s great,” said Twins manager Rocco Baldelli. “When the offense is not there, he does a good job behind the plate. He’s a big contributor. »
Minnesota got another run in the seventh when, with runners on the corners, Matt Bush threw wildly first for an error while trying to pull out Gilberto Celestino.
Byron Buxton hit his 23rd homer for the Twins, who opened a 4 1/2 game lead over second-place Cleveland in the AL Central and avoided what would have been their first four-game losing streak this season.
Corey Seager homered for the third game in a row, an eighth-inning backcourt drive to the left of Jhoan Duran who peeked into the glove of Celestino, who attempted a leaping catch. The home run, on a 100 mph pitch, was Seager’s 19th this season.
Dylan Bundy (5-4) allowed four runs and six hits in five innings, going 7-2 against Texas and 3-0 at Globe Life Field. Bundy, whose overall record is 51-61, was 0-1 in three starts since winning at Arizona on June 18.
He allowed a three-point brace to rookie Josh Smith in second.
“I was mad at myself on both walks and the one Smith hit that split the gap,” Bundy said.
Tyler Duffey rounded the single with two outs from Jonah Heim for his second save in five chances.
“I told him we needed a zero,” Baldelli said. “Not ‘not good enough.’ We need a zero.
Texas starter Dane Dunning allowed four runs, six hits and four walks in 2 1/3 innings, a season low. He threw just 38 of 66 pitches for strikes.
Buxton homered in the first, and singles by Jose Miranda and Jeffers gave it a 3-0 lead in the second.
Dunning walked three straight batters in the third, then hit Miranda with a pitch. Seager’s sacrificial volley in the fifth set tied the score 4-4.
SEE THE STARS
Buxton and Luis Arraez, who leads the major leagues with a .348 average, will represent the Twins in the All-Star Game. Rangers’ lone All-Star is left-hander Martin Pérez, 7-2 with a 2.72 ERA.
Twins: OF Nick Gordon walked away with a bruised left leg after fouling on a leg throw in the seventh inning. “It was more calf than anything. We have the day off so we’ll see how he goes on Tuesday.
Rangers: C-DH Mitch Garver will undergo season-ending surgery on Monday to repair a torn flexor tendon in his throwing arm.
Twins: RHP Josh Winder (4-2, 3.12) starts Tuesday against visiting Milwaukee, who sends RHP Jason Alexander (2-1, 4.75) to the mound in Game 1 of a two-game series.
Rangers: RHP Spencer Howard (0-1, 10.97) starts Monday’s opener of a three-game series against Oakland. RHP Adrian Martinez (2-1, 6.00) starts for the A’s.
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