ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) - Luis Arraez hit the first of three more homers by the slugging Minnesota Twins, putting them ahead to stay in a 13-6 win over the Texas Rangers on Thursday night.
Miguel Sano and Eddie Rosario also went deep for Minnesota (73-48), which maintained a half-game lead over Cleveland for the AL Central lead. With 41 games left in the regular season, the Twins' 236 homers are 31 short of the MLB record set by the New York Yankees last year.
After C.J. Cron reached on a one-out error on the second, rookie second baseman Arraez homered to right for a 2-0 lead. Arraez's third homer was part of a five-run inning. Jake Cave had an RBI double before a throwing error by shortstop Elvis Andrus allowed two runs to score.
Marwin Gonzalez had a pair of RBI singles among his four hits, and Minnesota led 11-0 after Sano hit his 22nd homer with two outs in the fifth. The Rangers, at the time, still had only one hit off Michael Pineda (8-5) in his return from the injured list after missing two weeks because of a right triceps strain.
Willie Calhoun led off the Rangers fifth with his 11th homer, and Andrus had an RBI single to make it 11-3. Rosario then homered to start the Minnesota's sixth, his 27th homer, matching his career high.
Pineda struck out six with one walk while allowing three runs and six hits over five innings. He threw 55 of 86 pitches for strikes in his first start since Aug. 1, in the ballpark where he made his major league debut eight years ago.
Drew Smeltzer threw the final four innings for his first save.
Texas rookie starter Pedro Payano (1-2) allowed eight runs - five of them earned - in 3 1/3 innings. The right-hander struck out three and walked three.
After the Rangers got another leadoff homer in the sixth on Hunter Pence's 18th, they had four more hits - two for extra bases - in the inning and got only one more run. Calhoun was out trying to score on a double by Rougned Odor, who was then thrown out when he took off home on a groundball to third. The inning ended when Jose Trevino rounded third base and couldn't get back in time after a RBI double by Delino DeShields.
Twins: DH Nelson Cruz (left wrist) is expected to hit on the field at some point this weekend. Cruz was put on the 10-day injured list last Friday, a day after he was injured on a swing. "There's no reason to really rush anything," manager Rocco Baldelli said. "Says he's feeling good and he's ready to go." Cruz is hitting .294 with 32 homers and 76 RBIs in 87 games. ... C Willians Astrudillo (strained left oblique) started a rehab assignment with Double-A Pensacola.
Rangers lefty Mike Minor (11-6, 2.90 ERA) has pitched 16 consecutive scoreless innings, and has won his last three starts since the trade deadline passed with him still in the Texas rotation. Minor is coming off consecutive 1-0 wins on the road. Twins right-hander Jake Odorizzi (13-5, 3.44), who got his first big league victory against Texas five years ago, threw 5 2/3 scoreless innings in his last start, and has allowed one or no earned runs in 13 starts.
BALTIMORE (AP) - Lamar Jackson directed two scoring drives during a limited appearance, had an impressive touchdown run erased by a penalty and sparked the Baltimore Ravens to a 26-13 victory over the Green Bay Packers, who played Thursday night without quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Rodgers developed back stiffness and was a late scratch , a move the team labeled as a "precaution." After being held out of Green Bay's first preseason game against Houston, the seven-time Pro Bowl star was slated to start for the first time under rookie head coach Matt LaFleur.
Instead, DeShone Kizer, Tim Boyle and Manny Wilkins struggled against a defense that last year was ranked No. 1 in the NFL.
Rodgers has played 165 regular-season games since breaking into the league in 2005, so there was really no pressing need to get him into a game three weeks before the Sept. 5 opener against Chicago.
Green Bay (1-1) got its lone touchdown in the third quarter on a 7-yard pass from Boyle to rookie Darrius Shepherd, who is a former NDSU Bison.
Elsewhere in the NFL:
- Washington first-round pick Dwayne Haskins made strong throws and his share of mistakes, and fellow rookie Ryan Finley continued to make his case to be Cincinnati's backup quarterback in the Bengals' 23-13 victory over the Redskins on Thursday night in each team's second preseason game.
Haskins threw a 55-yard TD pass to camp standout Robert Davis and was 7 of 14 for 114 yards with a fumble. The 15th overall pick took two sacks but showed poise under pressure and was more effective than veteran Case Keenum, who played the first three drives and was 3 of 7 for 52 yards.
Keenum, Haskins and longtime backup Colt McCoy are competing to be the Redskins' Week 1 starter. McCoy has yet to play in the preseason while he deals with lingering pain from a broken leg last year.
After already passing Jeff Driskell on Cincinnati's depth chart, Finley again showed why he's now the favorite to back up Andy Dalton. The fourth-round pick out of N.C. State completed his first nine passes and was 20 of 26 for 150 yards with two TD passes.
- Matt Ryan and Sam Darnold both appear ready for the regular season. Ryan looked sharp in his preseason debut for the Atlanta Falcons, completing nine straight passes, and Darnold led New York on another scoring drive in the Jets' 22-10 victory Thursday night.
After sitting out the first two exhibition games, Ryan played most of the first half. He completed 10 of 14 passes for 118 yards, a performance that was even more impressive considering Brian Hill and Justin Hardy dropped back-to-back passes in the back of the end zone that should have been touchdowns, sparking boos from the meager crowd at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
The Jets (1-1) are certainly pleased with Darnold, who followed up a marvelous drive in the preseason opener by completing 5 of 7 passes for 46 yards. He guided New York on a 66-yard touchdown drive to start the game, capped by Ty Montgomery's 1-yard scoring run.
Le'Veon Bell sat out again for the Jets. He could make his New York debut next week.
Atlanta's backup quarterback, Matt Schaub, took over for Ryan and led the Falcons (0-3) on their lone touchdown drive to close out the first half. Running the two-minute offense to perfection, Schaub went 8 of 10 for 76 yards to set up Ito Smith's 4-yard touchdown run with 33 seconds remaining.
- The Philadelphia Eagles (1-1) picked up their first preseason win against the Jacksonville Jaguars (0-2) on Thursday at TIAA Bank Field. The Eagles defeated the Jaguars, 24-10. Carson Wentz sat out.
- The Oakland Raiders' starters opened the team's second exhibition in dominant fashion. Quarterback Derek Carr and rookie running back Josh Jacobs paced a methodical touchdown drive before the first-team defense shut down the Arizona Cardinals' No. 1 overall pick, quarterback Kyler Murray, in a 33-26 win. The Raiders led 26-0 in the second quarter, owned a yardage differential of 224 to 12 at one point, had two quarterbacks with a perfect passer rating and kept the athletic Murray at bay.
UNDATED (AP) - The Chicago Cubs blew a great opportunity to regain sole possession of the NL Central lead. Bryce Harper blasted a grand slam with one out in the ninth inning to cap a six-run rally that sent the Phillies over the Chicago Cubs, 7-5. Pinch-hitter Brad Miller chased reliever Rowan Wick with an RBI single in the ninth that cut it to 5-2. Roman Quinn greeted Pedro Strop with an RBI single to make it a two-run game.
The Phils rallied after Yu Darvish struck out 10 over seven strong innings. Anthony Rizzo and Kyle Schwarber homered for the Cubs, who remain tied with St. Louis for the division lead.
The Cardinals were 2-1 losers to the Reds as Sonny Gray and three Cincinnati relievers combined on a two-hitter. Gray struck out a season-high 10, allowing just one hit and three walks in five innings.
Nick Senzel and Eugenio Suarez drove in Cincinnati's runs as the Reds snapped a four-game skid and the Cardinals' five-game winning streak.
Elsewhere on major league diamonds:
- The Mets avoided a three-game sweep as rookie Pete Alonso had career highs of five hits and six RBIs, including a three-run homer in a 10-8 victory in Atlanta. Amed Rosario's career-high five hits included two doubles, two singles and a triple as the Mets cut the Braves' lead in the NL East to 5 1/2 games over Washington. Wilson Ramos had four of New York's season-high 23 hits.
- Brian Anderson, Starlin Castro, Jorge Alfaro and Lewis Brinson drove in three runs apiece as the Marlins thumped the Dodgers, 13-7. Jon Berti scored three times to help Miami bounce back from Wednesday's 15-1 pounding by Los Angeles. The Dodgers still managed to belt four home runs, including Cody Bellinger's NL-leading 40th.
- Evan Longoria was 3-for-5 with a two-run homer and a two-run single as the Giants dumped the Diamondbacks, 7-0. Dereck Rodriguez scattered three hits over seven innings in his first start since returning from the minors. Austin Slater reached base five times with three hits and two walks to help San Francisco get within 3 1/2 games of an NL wild-card slot.
- Matt Chapman hit two home runs for the second straight day and Matt Olson added a pair of round-trippers as the Athletics powered past the Astros, 7-6. Chapman broke a 6-6 deadlock with an eighth inning blast, one of 10 homers hit by the two teams. Michael Brantley and Carlos Correa connected for the Astros, who lead the AL West by 8 1/2 games over Oakland.
- Jose Ramirez and Carlos Santana each hit two of the Indians' seven home runs in a 19-5 thrashing of the Yankees. Ramirez belted his first career grand slam in a seven-run first, and Greg Allen and Santana went back-to-back in a five-run eighth against rookie designated hitter Mike Ford. Every Cleveland starter had at least two of the team's 24 hits as the Indians stayed a half-game behind the AL Central-leading Twins.
- Luis Arraez hit the first of three more homers by Minnesota in a 13-6 rout of the Rangers. Miguel Sano and Eddie Rosario also went deep for the Twins, whose 236 home runs and 31 off the record set by the Yankees last season. Marwin Gonzalez had a pair of RBI singles among his four hits.
- Dylan Moore smacked a solo homer and Kyle Seager drove in three runs as the Marlins whipped the Tigers, 7-2. Mallex Smith leads the majors with 34 stolen bases after swiping two more on Thursday. Winning pitcher Tommy Milone worked four innings of two-run relief after Seattle opener Matt Wisler tossed a scoreless first.
- Mike Trout crushed his AL-leading 40th home run while going 4-for-4 with four runs scored in the Angels' 8-7 win against the White Sox. The two-time AL MVP became the fastest player to 40 homers in Angels history and the fifth-fastest in the majors in this century by reaching the mark in 123 games. Andrew Heaney limited Chicago to four hits while yielding three runs over seven innings.
UNDATED (AP) - Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton is hitting indoors and throwing as he rehabs from a sprained right knee that's been slow to heal since he got hurt June 25. The next step will be jogging and running outside before ramping up baseball activities. General manager Brian Cashman originally targeted August but now says the AL East leaders hope to get Stanton back sometime in September.
Also around the majors:
- The Giants could accelerate their timeline for Johnny Cueto as they seek an NL wild card. Cueto had season-ending Tommy John surgery a year ago. Manager Bruce Boch says the right-hander will make at least one more rehab start after Thursday's scheduled outing before the team re-evaluates Cueto's condition.
- Diamondbacks left-hander Robbie Ray has landed on the 10-day injured list because of lower back spasms. Ray was removed from Wednesday's start at Colorado while warming up before the third inning. The 27-year-old Ray ranks among the NL leaders with 187 strikeouts in 142 innings.
ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. (AP) - Former NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. was hospitalized and released after his plane crashed in east Tennessee Thursday afternoon. Earnhardt was with wife Amy, 15-month-old daughter Isla, a dog and two pilots. NBC Sports says the family and pilots were discharged from the hospital.
Federal Aviation Administration officials said a Cessna Citation rolled off the end of a runway and caught fire after landing at Elizabethton Municipal Airport. The National Transportation Safety Board tweeted that it's sending two representatives to Elizabethton to begin investigating the crash.
Earnhardt was scheduled to be part of the NBC broadcast team for Saturday night's race at Bristol. The network says he will skip the race to be with his family before returning to the broadcast booth at Darlington next month.
(Copyright 2019 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)