Marcus Semien and Nathaniel Lowe homered, Kohei Arihara pitched a career-high six innings and combined with Taylor Hearn for the shutout, and the Texas Rangers beat the Minnesota Twins 7-0 on Sunday.
Minnesota starter Joe Ryan held Texas hitless for the first three innings before Semien led off the fourth with his 19th home run of the season. Semien drove in three runs.
Adolis García extended his hitting streak to 18 games, the longest current streak in the majors.
The Rangers won for the third time in four games following a week of dramatic changes. The team fired fourth-year manager Chris Woodward on Monday. President of baseball operations Jon Daniels was fired on Wednesday.
“It’s almost like a clean slate with (interim manager Tony) Beasley,” Semien said of last week’s organizational changes. “When that stuff happened, it just kind of wakes the room up. It’s unfortunate what happened last week, but it wakes the room up and puts everyone on notice that we need to get our stuff together and start playing better.”
Arihara (1-1) was impressive in just his second major league start of the season. The right-hander from Japan spent most of the season at Triple-A Round Rock. He gave up four hits and pitched into the seventh inning.
“I was definitely more settled in this time, more relaxed and got into a rhythm quickly,” Arihara said through a translator.
Taylor Hearn came on in relief after the first two batters of the seventh singled off Arihara. Hearn retired three in a row to end the threat and finished off the final three innings for his first career save.
“We pitched outstanding,” Beasley said. “Kohei, he set the tone for us. I always say that pitching is the face of the game. So, he set the tone. He kept us at bay. If he comes out and doesn’t pitch well, none of this offense matters. So, he kept the game in a spot where we had a chance to get going offensively.”
Ryan (9-6) allowed just two hits and two runs, but he walked three and was done after 6 1/3 innings when Texas put together a three-run inning off Ryan and reliever Trevor Megill.
The Twins were shut out for the 11th time this season and now trail Cleveland by 1.5 games in the American League Central.
“We expected more from our offense,” Minnesota manager Rocco Baldelli said. “And will expect more going forward, a lot more. It was a day where there wasn’t much to even talk about. I think we rolled over on a lot of pitches. And it’s something I think we could have and should have been ready for. And I think we prepared for the type of pitcher we were facing today. The execution in the batter’s box has to be better.”
PICKING IT UP
After a slow start to his first season in Texas, Semien is delivering the production expected when he signed a $175 million, seven-year contract in the offseason.
Semien was hitting .193 with no homers on May 27. He hit his first home run a day later and now has 19 in 77 games since while hitting .256 during that stretch. With a career-high 19 stolen bases, he’s closing in on his first 20-20 season.
Lowe hit his 18th homer. He’s hitting .364 since the All-Star break.
Minnesota completed its Hall of Fame weekend by inducting former outfielder Dan Gladden and utility man César Tovar, a day after an induction ceremony for former manager Ron Gardenhire.
Gladden was the leadoff hitter for the World Series-winning teams in 1987 and 1991. He played five seasons for the Twins and has spent the past 22 as a radio broadcaster for the team.
Tovar spent eight seasons with Twins, hitting .281 with 186 steals, which are third all-time for the team. In 1968, he became just the second player in history to play all nine positions in the same game.
Rangers: OF Kole Calhoun was activated from the injured list after recovering from right heel irritation. Calhoun had been out since Aug. 3 and played in three rehab games in Triple-A where he was 3 for 10 with a hit in each game. IF Josh Smith was optioned to Round Rock.
Twins: RHP Kenta Maeda (Tommy John surgery recovery) has been throwing and is scheduled for another trip to the doctor this week. He could begin throwing live batting practice after the checkup. … RHP Bailey Ober (right groin straight) is scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Monday. … OF Trevor Larnach (core muscle injury) has started hitting and running. … OF Kyle Garlick (right ribcage contusion) is close to a rehab assignment.
The four-game series continues on Monday night. RHP Sonny Gray (7-3, 3.11 ERA) starts for Minnesota while LHP Cole Ragans (0-2, 5.02) will start for Texas. Gray tied a season high with 10 strikeouts in six scoreless innings in his last start. Ragans has allowed eight runs and four home runs in 9 1/3 innings over his last two starts.