MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Twins took advantage of erratic pitching early, drawing four walks and scoring four runs in the first inning Friday night in a 12-2 victory over the Texas Rangers in a game that also saw the benches clear.
The AL West-leading Rangers lost their season-high eighth straight game.
Rangers starter Dane Dunning walked three of the first four batters he faced and eventually walked the bases loaded. Matt Wallner delivered a bases-loaded triple to put the AL Central-leading Twins up 3-0 in the first inning.
Ryan Jeffers added an RBI single in the four-run first. Jeffers was later hit by Dunning (9-6) in the third inning, which started a string of events that eventually led to the benches and bullpens clearing in the top of the fourth.
After Jeffers was hit in the bottom of the third, Minnesota starter Sonny Gray (7-6) hit former Twin Mitch Garver in the top of the fourth. Players from both teams left their respective benches and bullpens and convened between home plate and the pitcher’s mound before things were broken up.
Prior to the benches clearing, Twins center fielder Joey Gallo and manager Rocco Baldelli were ejected by home plate umpire Carlos Torres. Gallo was tossed for arguing balls and strikes, just the third ejection of his nine-year career. For Baldelli, it was his 14th career ejection, and fifth this season.
Minnesota broke open the open with a six-run seventh. Edouard Julien hit a 435-foot three-run homer in the inning to put the Twins up 10-1. Carlos Correa also homered in the seventh, his 16th of the year.
Garver drove in the lone Texas run allowed by Gray (7-6), a solo home run in the second inning. The Rangers also scored an unearned run in the eighth.
Texas catcher Austin Hedges took the mound in the eighth inning, his first career pitching appearance. He surrendered a solo homer to Max Kepler and allowed two runs.