Twins - Schoop
Minnesota Twins second baseman Jonathan Schoop (16) hits a two run home run during the fifth inning Friday, July 5, against the Texas Rangers at Target Field.

Hit with a rash of injuries since mid-June, the Minnesota Twins found themselves at low ebb heading into Friday night’s series opener against the Texas Rangers at Target Field, losers of five of their past seven games and with three key contributors on the shelf.

But even at low ebb, the Twins are finding ways to get it done.

The Twins hit four home runs to set a major league record for dingers before the all-star break and tied a team record for extra-base hits in an inning and a game in a 15-6 victory over the Rangers in front of a sellout crowd of 38,073 in a rain-delayed start.

Luis Arraez and Jorge Polanco homered in a six-run second inning, and Jonathan Schoop and Mitch Garver added homers in the fifth and seventh innings, respectively, as the Twins increased their major league-leading total to 165, four more than the New York Yankees hit before the break last season when they set a record for homers in a season with 267.

“It’s fun. It’s fun to play like that and get a win,” said second baseman Jonathan Schoop, who went 3-for-4 and drove in four runs.

The Twins batted out 20 hits, 13 for extra bases, tying a team record set April 20 against Baltimore. All 10 batters had at least one hit, and eight drove in at least one run.

“It’s really good, from 1 to 9 — well, not even 1 to 9, 1 to 13, can do damage,” Schoop said. “I think anyone that gets thrown into the lineup is going to going to contribute. It feels really good. You don’t care where you are in the lineup because you know you can score.”

Polanco, Max Kepler, Marwin Gonzalez and C.J. Cron each drove in two runs in a big win for a team returning home from a 2-4 road trip against the Chicago White Sox and Oakland A’s. They hit nine doubles — two each by Schoop, Byron Buxton and C.J. Cron — and four in the second inning, when they tied a 1966 team record with six extra-base hits.

The Twins picked up half a game on idle Cleveland to increase their American League Central lead to 6 1/2 games with two games to play before the four-day all-star break.

That can’t come soon enough for Minnesota, which has put six key contributors on the injured list since June 18 and will play this weekend without RBI leader Eddie Rosario (ankle), No. 2 starter Jake Odorizzi (blister) and catcher/infielder Willians Astudillo (oblique).

Texas starter Adrian Sampson (6-6) was charged with seven earned runs on 11 hits in 3.1 innings. The Twins batted around in the second, scoring six on two homers and four doubles and tying the team record for extra-base innings set in against the Kansas City A’s in 1966 (five homers and a double).

Left-hander Martin Perez was mostly sharp in his first start against the team that signed and developed him. He made quick work of the Rangers until pitching to four batters in the seventh without getting an out and leaving with runners at second and third with a 9-2 lead.

Before that, Perez had allowed only five baserunners in six innings, scattering four hits and a walk and inducing 13 ground-ball outs, including two 6-4-3 double plays started by All-Star Game starter Polanco. Perez struggled through an injury early last season and finished the season in Texas’ bullpen.

In Minnesota, he is 8-3 with a 4.26 earned-run average in 95 innings pitched.

“Doing what I’ve been doing all season, and then to do it to this team was pretty special for me because I was there for 11 years,” said Perez. “I’m really happy. Everyone wanted to joke around with me, but I was staying with my focus and attacking hitters.”

Minnesota 15, Texas 6

Texas ab r h rbi bb so avg

Choo dh 5 1 1 2 0 0 .278

DeShields cf 4 0 2 0 0 0 .259

Andrus ss 4 0 1 0 0 0 .307

Mazara rf 3 1 0 0 1 1 .268

Forsythe 3b 4 2 2 1 0 0 .262

Cabrera 3b 2 0 1 1 1 1 .230

Calhoun lf 1 1 0 0 0 0 .293

Odor 2b 4 1 2 1 0 0 .195

Santana 1b 4 0 0 1 0 1 .289

Federowicz c 4 0 1 0 0 0 .237

Totals 35 6 10 6 2 3 --

Minnesota ab r h rbi bb so avg

Kepler rf 4 1 2 2 1 0 .268

Polanco ss 5 1 2 2 0 1 .314

Adrianza ss 0 0 0 0 0 0 .283

Cruz dh 2 0 1 0 0 1 .288

Sanó dh 3 1 1 0 0 1 .227

Garver c 4 3 2 1 1 2 .291

Gonzalez lf 4 2 3 2 0 1 .258

Cron 1b 5 2 2 2 0 0 .266

Arraez 3b 5 1 2 1 0 1 .413

Schoop 2b 5 2 3 4 0 1 .260

Buxton cf 5 2 2 1 0 1 .253

Totals 42 15 20 15 2 9 --

Texas 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 1 0 -- 6 10 0

Minnesota 0 6 0 1 2 0 3 3 X -- 15 20 0

Texas ip h r er bb so np era

Sampson, L (6-6) 3.1 11 7 7 0 5 71 4.70

Biddle 2.2 1 2 2 1 3 39 7.76

Martin 1 4 3 3 0 0 17 4.85

St. John 1 4 3 3 1 1 33 6.75

Minnesota ip h r er bb so np era

Pérez, W (8-3) 6 7 4 4 2 3 94 4.26

Harper 1 2 1 1 0 0 18 3.06

Duffey 0.2 1 1 1 0 0 10 2.60

Stewart 1.1 0 0 0 0 0 17 4.15

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