Texas posted its major league-leading 10th shutout of the season Wednesday, as five pitchers combined for a six-hitter and Luis Sardinas drove in the lone run in the Rangers' 1-0 victory. Leonys Martin was 2-for-4 and scored on Sardinas' single in the seventh inning for Texas, which has won six of its last eight games.
Rangers reliever Shawn Tolleson (1-1) pitched 1 2/3 innings, allowing just one hit and a walk to earn the win in relief of starter Joe Saunders, who returned from the disabled list and fired five scoreless frames.
Brian Dozier and Eduardo Nunez had the only extra-base hits for the Twins, who have lost five of their last six.
Jared Burton (1-2) was tagged for one run on two hits to absorb the loss.
"We gave up one and unfortunately we had chances," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We had chances to score early and they made enough pitches. It was a cat-and-mouse (game) after that. They needed a big hit and they got one that flipped into the outfield and there you have it. We hit some right on the nose at some people, but that's way those games go."
Texas, which has won six straight day games, will turn to rookie Nick Martinez, who is coming off his first win of his career. Martinez beat the Detroit Tigers on Saturday, limiting them to a run and eight hits in six innings, as he improved to 1-1 to go along with a 2.14 ERA.
"I feel comfortable," Martinez said. "I never felt uncomfortable even when I was in the bullpen. I had a pretty good routine in the bullpen. But being in the bullpen, your routine you have to play it by ear. Your routine as a starter is set in stone."
Minnesota, meanwhile, will hand the ball to righty Samuel Deduno, who is 1-3 with a 3.48 ERA. Deduno lost to San Francisco on Saturday, as he allowed two runs and four hits with three walks in 5 2/3 innings.
Deduno is 0-1 in two starts versus the Rangers with an 8.71 ERA in those outings.
Minnesota took four of its seven meetings with the Rangers last season.
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UPI Sports Results for September 19, 2014