MINNEAPOLIS — The Texas Rangers started Sunday as the only team in the majors that hadn’t lost two games in a row this season.
That streak is over after Kevin Correia pitched eight sharp innings, Justin Morneau homered and the Minnesota Twins beat Texas 5-0.
The only runs the Rangers scored in the two losses came when Minnesota center fielder Aaron Hicks lost a two-out fly ball in the ninth inning in the sun Saturday.
“It’s hard to win when you don’t score any runs,” Texas catcher A.J. Pierzynski said. “We really didn’t have a lot of opportunities.”
The Rangers’ best chance came when Elvis Andrus and Lance Berkman singled to open the fourth. Correia struck out Adrian Beltre and retired Pierzynski and Nelson Cruz on grounders.
“Getting balls hit to people right now,” Correia said. “Very easily, when you go out there and get balls put in play a lot like I do, sometimes those things can find a hole. Right now it’s just going my way.”
Texas closed out a 5-3 trip and ended a stretch in which they played 14 of 17 games on the road.
“The off-day is definitely needed,” manager Ron Washington said. “This is the big leagues. You can’t be complaining about the schedule. We’re not going to make any excuses.”
Before their two straight setbacks, the Rangers hadn’t lost at Minnesota since June 12, 2011. With Sunday’s loss, the Rangers were forced to settle for a split of the four-game series against the Twins.
Correia (3-1) gave up six hits, struck out two and walked one. He allowed only one runner to reach third base while lowering his ERA to 2.23.
Correia has pitched at least seven innings in each of his first five starts for the Twins after going seven or more only three times all of last season.