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Eaton, Rangers blank Twins on strength of eight-run 4th

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Adam Eaton gave the Texas Rangers the kind of
outing they were looking for when they acquired him from San Diego
last offseason.

Eaton pitched six sharp innings and Gary Matthews Jr. hit his
second grand slam this season to highlight an eight-run fourth,
leading Texas past the Minnesota Twins 9-0 Tuesday night.

Minnesota Twins left-hander Francisco Liriano
has been scratched from Wednesday's start against the Texas Rangers
because of inflammation in his elbow.

"It's not an elbow, it's just in the forearm, it's muscular,"
Minnesota pitching coach Rick Anderson said after Tuesday night's
9-0 loss to Texas. "It's just more of a precaution. You don't want
to mess with him. If we were to run him out there and it's not 100
percent and something happens you'd never forgive yourself."

Anderson said Liriano would likely miss one start, adding that
if it were late September he would likely start.

"He could pitch, but we're not going to let him pitch," he
said. "He doesn't want to do this, but we made him do it."

Liriano is 12-2 with an American League-best 1.96 ERA in 26
games, including 14 starts. He has struck out 137 batters,
fifth-best in the league.

Boof Bonser, who was 2-2 with a 5.30 ERA in seven starts for
Minnesota earlier this season, will be recalled and start
Wednesday.

-- Associated Press

Making his second start since having surgery on the middle
finger of his pitching hand at the end of spring training, Eaton
(1-1) earned his first win with the Rangers.

"I thought his command was a little better. He got to that
fourth inning and was able to get back into step. There were a lot
of groundballs and he had good life on his fastball. He had a lot
of different looks and got strike one a lot," Texas manager Buck
Showalter said. "We were contemplating whether to pitch him
yesterday or today, and I'm glad we waited another day."

Michael Young also homered for the Rangers, who won for only the
second time in nine games.

Minnesota's Scott Baker (3-7) allowed a career-high seven earned
runs in 3 1-3 innings and was demoted to Triple-A Rochester after
the game.

The right-hander began the season as Minnesota's fifth starter,
but was sent to Rochester on June 1 after going 2-5 with a 6.06 ERA
in nine outings. In three starts since being recalled July 11, he
gave up 16 earned runs in 14 2-3 innings for a 9.82 ERA.

"I can't be mad at the situation," he said. "I'm not
providing the good starts the team needs."

After missing Sunday's scheduled start because of food
poisoning, Eaton allowed four hits, walked four and struck out
four. C.J. Wilson and Scott Feldman finished the five-hitter,
Texas' sixth shutout this year.

The Twins were blanked for the ninth time.

The closest Minnesota came to scoring against Eaton was a
two-out triple by Joe Mauer in the first, but Michael Cuddyer hit a
soft liner to first to end the inning.

"This is kind of what I was expecting in the first start, but I
made it through the fourth inning this time," said Eaton, who
lasted only 3 2-3 innings against the Yankees last Tuesday. "It
was nice to have a sinker that I hadn't had all year, including
spring training."

Baker got to strike two often for Minnesota, but couldn't put
the Texas hitters away, especially when the Rangers broke loose in
the fourth for eight runs.

"Seven of the hitters had two strikes and all of them got on
base," Minnesota pitching coach Rick Anderson said. "He needed to
establish what his out pitch was and tonight he didn't have one, he
didn't go to anything to put anybody away. When you're in great
counts as a pitcher you have to bury them and put them away."

With one out, a single by Hank Blalock scored Carlos Lee, who
doubled off the right-field baggie to start the inning. Ian Kinsler
followed with a single before Matt Stairs hit a grounder to Nick
Punto at third.

Punto double-pumped, then threw wide of Luis Castillo at second
base, allowing Blalock to score on the error and moving Kinsler to
third. Rod Barajas was hit by a pitch to load the bases before Brad
Wilkerson hit an RBI single for a 3-0 Texas lead.

"We just missed a play. We don't do that very often," said
Twins third base coach Scott Ullger, who filled in as manager for
the second straight night in place of an ill Ron Gardenhire.

Matthews worked the count full before hitting a 426-foot shot to
right that landed about 10 rows into the upper deck.

"I had a big hit, but the real story is Adam throwing shutout
baseball and giving our bullpen a break," Matthews said.

Texas relievers allowed seven runs in 6 1-3 innings Monday.

Young followed Matthews' shot with an opposite-field homer, also
on a 3-2 pitch, to end Baker's night.

Mark Teixeira added an RBI single in the ninth.

Pat Neshek struck out a career-high four in 2 2-3 hitless
innings out of the Minnesota bullpen.

Game notes
Minnesota also optioned INF Terry Tiffee to Triple-A
Rochester after the game and announced it will recall RHP Boof
Bonser and reinstate RHP Matt Guerrier from the 15-day disabled
list. Bonser will start Wednesday in place of LHP Francisco
Liriano, who has inflammation in his left forearm. Guerrier has
been inactive since June 9 with a right thumb fracture. ... Texas
recalled Feldman from Triple-A Oklahoma and optioned pitcher John
Rheinecker to the RedHawks. ... Barajas threw out Castillo and
Punto trying to steal second base three pitches apart in the third
inning. Barajas entered the game with a 30.6 percent success rate.