MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Kenny Rogers is proving that there is life after 40.
Rogers pitched a six-hitter, running his scoreless streak to 30 innings in the Texas Rangers' 5-0 victory over the Minnesota Twins
on Saturday night."Today we didn't really have much of a chance," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Kenny Rogers was the story. He dominated. He changed speeds and located the ball and I guess that's why he's the hottest pitcher in the game right now. He's on one of those rolls and we couldn't do much with him."Rogers (4-2) has won his last four starts and has not allowed a run since the sixth inning of a 3-2 loss to Tampa Bay on April 21. It is the longest streak in the majors since Minnesota's Johan Santana threw 33 straight shutout innings from Aug. 28 to Sept. 24 last season, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. It is also Rogers' longest run since his team-record streak of 39 innings in 1995.The 40-year-old left-hander threw 104 pitches and did not allow a runner past first until the ninth in a dominating performance against one of his former teams."I think he's throwing the ball awesome," said Rangers pitching coach Orel Hershiser, who set the major-league record with his 59-inning streak in 1988. "It's exciting to watch. ... He's not even breaking a sweat."Rogers did not speak to the media.Just like the night before, the Twins got a strong start from their starting pitcher before the Rangers got going with a big inning.Carlos Silva cruised through the first four innings, allowing just two hits and a walk. He got some help from his defense, including a strong throw from right fielder Jacque Jones that caught Mark Teixeira trying to stretch a single into a double in the fourth, and a couple double plays, but the Rangers finally got to him in the fifth.Texas scored four runs on six singles, including Sandy Alomar Jr.'s bases-loaded hit that scored Alfonso Soriano and Laynce Nix.
David Dellucci and Michael Young also had run-scoring singles in the inning to help Texas to a 4-0 lead.That was more than enough for Rogers, who is enjoying a bit of a renaissance late in his career after winning 18 games last season."It seems like he can go forever," Texas third baseman Hank Blalock said. "He's been the staple of our rotation."He kept the Twins off-balance with a dazzling array of off-speed pitches and pinpoint location. After starting the season with two no-decisions and two losses, he has been brilliant.Rogers threw seven scoreless innings to beat Cleveland on Sunday, eight shutout innings against Oakland on May 2 and six against Seattle on April 27. He surpassed this season's previous high of 24 consecutive scoreless innings, done by Houston's Roger Clemens and Florida's Dontrelle Willis."He came into spring training on a mission," Hershiser said. "I think he wants to continue to pitch and I think he's proven his point that he can still pitch."It was another tough opponent for Silva, who was beaten by Baltimore's Daniel Cabrera his last time out. Cabrera struck out 11 and didn't allow a run in that game; while Rogers was nowhere near as overpowering, he was just as effective."That was unbelievable," Silva said of Rogers, who is 14 years his senior. "Today he did whatever he wanted to do."Silva (2-2) gave up four runs and nine hits, struck out three and walked one in seven innings."I just try to stay in the game," Silva said after his second straight start with no run support. "That's the only thing I can do. I felt very good. The runs are going to come, that's just how baseball is."Young was 2-for-4 for Texas, which was ordinary for most of the game, save for the big fifth inning. Soriano hit a solo homer, his 11th of the season, in the ninth off of Kyle Lohse.Texas has won five road games in a row for the first time since June 2002.Matthew LeCroy was 2-for-3 for the Twins, who have lost four of their last five games.
Twins center fielder Torii Hunter was held out of Saturday night's game with a sore right wrist. Hunter was injured when he collided with shortstop Jason Bartlett on a shallow fly ball in Friday night's game. Gardenhire said Hunter is day-to-day. ... Twins reliever Grant Balfour had ligament replacement surgery on his right elbow on Friday. "Everything went well," Gardenhire said. ... Rangers left fielder Gary Matthews Jr. left the game in the seventh clutching his right hamstring after trying to beat out a groundout to first. He was replaced by Kevin Mench, who made a diving catch in the ninth to preserve the shutout. Rangers manager Buck Showalter said it is likely that Matthews is headed to the disabled list.