ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Vicente Padilla did what right-handers seldom do -- throw a shutout at hitter-friendly Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.
Padilla pitched a seven-hitter for his third career shutout, Milton Bradley had a three-run homer and the Texas Rangers beat the Minnesota Twins 10-0 on Sunday.Padilla (3-2) struck out two, walked two and didn't allow a runner past second in his first shutout for Texas.The last Rangers right-hander to get a home shutout was Rick Helling, who had a four-hitter on July 29, 2001, against Tampa Bay."I've been trying to finish a game," Padilla said through an interpreter. "Today I got a chance to get it done. It was relaxing to pitch with a big lead like that."In his previous start, Padilla was knocked around by the Detroit Tigers for seven runs and eight hits in three innings of a 10-2 defeat.This time, Padilla decided to make more use of his fastball to set up breaking pitches."A lot depends on my fastball," said Padilla, who threw 121 pitches. "I was hitting the corners with it. I needed this, not just the team, because of the way I pitched the last time in Detroit."Rangers manager Ron Washington went to Padilla in the dugout before the ninth and asked how much he had left."He had an easy eighth. I asked him if he wanted to stay out there and he said he did," Washington said. "He was smiling, which he normally doesn't do. Then he went out in the ninth and shut them down. He was throwing 94, 95 in the ninth, so his stuff was still good."The Rangers (9-17) have already set a club record for losses in April, but they won two out of three from the Twins to take some of the pressure off Washington, whose job is considered to be on shaky ground.Jason Botts and Josh Hamilton also homered, and Hamilton and Michael Young each had three hits for the Rangers, who had lost eight of nine.The Rangers turned three double plays and were error-free after committing an AL-high 27 miscues in their first 25 games, with seven multi-error games in that span.Texas committed three errors leading to five unearned runs in the Twins' 12-6 victory Saturday night."This is the first game where we've done everything we needed to do," Hamilton said. "We pitched, hit and played defense. We were having fun in the dugout and it carried over onto the field."Brendan Harris had two hits for the Twins, who've lost four of five and began the day 13th in the AL in runs. Minnesota was shut out for the fourth time this season.Bradley's three-run shot in the first off Livan Hernandez (3-1) gave the Rangers a jump start."That got us going, got the monkey off our back after last night," Washington said. "It's good just to win a series, to get some momentum going, especially after the stuff we've been through."Texas bumped its lead to 6-0 in the second on RBI singles by Ian Kinsler and Young, and Hamilton's sacrifice fly. Botts' solo shot in the third made it 7-0, and when the Rangers put two more runners on later in the third, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire removed Hernandez and brought in Brian Bass.Hernandez, who'd lasted at least six innings in each of his first five starts, gave up seven runs and nine hits in 2 2/3 innings."Our starting pitcher had a rough time," Gardenhire said. "Our bullpen has thrown way too many innings and our starters not enough. Our bullpen is overworked, to say the least."
Kinsler has reached base in all 26 games this season, the longest current streak in the AL. ... RHP Sidney Ponson, who gave up one earned run in 5 1/3 innings in his first start for Texas on Saturday night, has apparently earned another start. Washington has Ponson penciled in to start Thursday against Kansas City. ... The Twins had won five of their previous six meetings with the Rangers. ... The temperature was an unseasonable 60 degrees at the start after a cold front moved through the area. ... Texas was without 3B Hank Blalock for the second straight game due to a strained left hamstring. Blalock reported that some of the soreness has subsided. He'll have an MRI exam on Monday to determine the extent of the injury.