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Thome's Two Homers Help Twins Blast Rangers 12-4

Jim Thome hit two homers to pass Mark McGwire for ninth place on the all-time home run list, and the Minnesota Twins pummeled the Texas Rangers, 12-4, at Target Field.

Thome now has 584 career home runs, which is one more than the former Athletics and Cardinals slugger. The powerful lefty drove in four runs and reached 20 homers for the 16th time in the last 17 seasons.

Next up for Thome is Frank Robinson, who is eighth all-time with 586 homers.

Matt Tolbert added two triples and a career-high five RBI, while J.J. Hardy hit a two-run double for the Twins, winners in four of five. Carl Pavano (16-10) helped the Twins maintain their four-game lead over the White Sox in the AL Central after allowing three runs on eight hits in eight strong innings.

Chicago captured the first game against Boston in a doubleheader that continues later Saturday.

Ian Kinsler homered, while Julio Borbon hit a two-run double for the Rangers, who have lost 10 of 14 on the road but still hold a sizeable lead in the AL West. Colby Lewis (9-12) continued his struggles, allowing nine runs, eight hits and two walks in 3 2/3 frames. Lewis is now 0-7 in his last nine starts, not having won since July 16 at Boston.

Minnesota wasted no time jumping out to a big lead, scoring five times — all with two outs — in the opening inning. Denard Span worked a leadoff walk, and Orlando Hudson followed with a base hit to left. Two batters later, Thome worked a walk to load the bases with one out.

Delmon Young popped out, but the Twins’ two-out attack took over. Hardy doubled in a pair of runs, and Jason Repko was hit by a pitch to re-load the bases. Tolbert plated all three runners with a triple to right for a 5-0 advantage.

Thome gave the Twins a 6-0 lead with his homer leading off the third.

In the fourth, Span and Michael Cuddyer both singled ahead of Thome, who sent another blast to left-center for his 20th of the season, which gave Minnesota a commanding nine-run lead.

Mitch Moreland’s RBI single in the fifth put Texas on the board, and Borbon’s two-run double in the sixth got the Rangers to within 9-3.

Tolbert continued his career day with a two-run triple in the seventh and came around to score on a wild pitch for a 12-3 advantage.

Kinsler’s leadoff homer in the ninth accounted for the final margin.

Game Notes

Thome recorded his 46th multi-homer game and the second this season…The Rangers still lead the season series, 5-4…Pavano snapped a three-start losing streak…Josh Hamilton (back) played for Texas after leaving Friday’s game and went 0-for-2 before being replaced by Borbon…The Twins have won six straight at home over Texas…Securing at least a series victory, Minnesota improved to 16-4-2 in series at home this season, including wins in eight of its last nine.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.